(Daily Caller News Foundation) — The Supreme Court declined Monday to prevent Minnesota’s climate lawsuit against energy companies from proceeding in state court.
Minnesota sued ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute in 2020 to hold the companies accountable for harms caused by their alleged contribution to climate change, claiming they knew about the “devastating effects” of their products and did not disclose it to the public. Justice Brett Kavanaugh would have taken the case, the Supreme Court’s brief order noted.
“Although the Court recently declined to review the jurisdictional question at issue in related climate-change cases, the Court’s review remains urgently needed,” the companies argued in the petition filed in August. “Absent review, climate-change cases will continue to proliferate in state courts, resulting in the application of the laws of fifty states to climate change-related disputes, in conflict with the national-security, economic, and energy policies of the United States.”
The Supreme Court similarly declined in April to weigh in on whether a handful of lawsuits brought by local governments against energy companies, including lawsuits from Boulder County, Colorado and Honolulu, Hawaii, should be heard in state or federal court. U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar had advised the Court to allow the Colorado case to proceed at the state level, marking a departure from the Trump Department of Justice’s prior position on the issue that Suncor Energy alleged was driven by “a desire to signal virtue to political bedfellows who are behind these lawsuits.”
🚨BREAKING: The Supreme Court allows Minnesota's climate fraud suit against Exxon, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute to go forward in state court. The justices denied Big Oil's pleas to overturn lower courts for the 3rd time in a year. https://t.co/m6ym57Ee6T
— Center for Climate Integrity (@climatecosts) January 8, 2024
The Eight Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in March that Minnesota’s lawsuit should proceed in state court where it was filed.
Judge David Stras, a Trump appointee, wrote in a concurring opinion in March that the state’s “end game” was to clearly to “change the companies’ behavior on a global scale,” but conceded that “only Congress or the Supreme Court” can make the call to remove the lawsuits to federal court.
“This decision is another step forward for Minnesota’s efforts to hold fossil fuel giants accountable for their climate lies and the harm they’ve caused,” Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity, said in a statement Monday. “Big Oil companies will continue fighting to escape justice, but for the third time in a year, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied their desperate pleas to overturn the unanimous rulings of every single court to consider this issue.”