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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

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Why Cities Suing over Climate Change Want the Fight in State Court, Not Federal

Oil companies think they’ll win in federal court, and they’ve been trying to get each city, county and state climate lawsuit moved there.

A street in Baltimore, one of the cities suing Big Oil over climate change, partially collapsed in 2014 in heavy rainfall during one of the city's wettest Aprils on record. Scientific studies warn to expect more extreme precipitation as the planet warms. (Credit: Jonathan Newton/Washington Post via Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.

A wave of lawsuits brought by local and state governments that are trying to hold oil companies accountable for climate change got a boost when federal judges in Rhode Island and Maryland sent two of the cases back to state court.

While the rulings this week and in June decided only where the cases will be heard, they may prove critical: Experts say the lawsuits stand a chance in state courts, however remote, but are essentially dead if they enter federal court.

“It’s not just a minor technical question.  It’s really the whole kit and caboodle,” said Ann Carlson, an environmental law expert at UCLA School of Law who has provided pro-bono consulting for some of the plaintiffs.

Read more at Why Cities Suing Over Climate Change Want the Fight in State Court, Not Federal

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