D.C.’s Climate Litigation Hypocrisy

An investigation by the Washington Free Beacon has revealed that the District of Columbia purchased over 1 million gallons of gasoline for government vehicles in 2018, even as the District’s leaders endorse litigation against the energy producers providing that fuel. According to the Washington Free Beacon:

“Invoices obtained by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all wholesale purchases for city vehicles found that D.C. paid for more than 1 million gallons of fuel in 2018 alone. The city’s consumption of fossil fuels did not stop lawmakers from exploring potential lawsuits against the very companies it purchased fuel from.”

It is unclear whether the District will file a lawsuit against energy companies, though many cities who have followed a similar path have brought “public nuisance” complaints—a lawsuit which argues that companies should be forced to pay for the anticipated effects of climate change because they created a product that, when burned, contributed to global warming. Yet if the District does pursue a public nuisance case against energy producers, the city’s own purchase and use of petroleum products would subject the city to criticism of hypocrisy.

Read more at EID Climate.

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