Honolulu Just Sued Energy Companies Over Climate Change—Here’s What You Need to Know

Today, the City & County of Honolulu filed its long-anticipated public nuisance lawsuit against ExxonMobil and other major oil and gas companies seeking to hold them responsible for the effects of climate change in the Aloha State.

Many similar lawsuits are pending as it’s debated whether they should be heard in state or federal court. Josh Stanbro, Honolulu’s Chief Resilience Officer, referenced these lawsuits in today’s press conference, but he failed to mention that none of these lawsuits has been successful. In fact, in two of the cases where the complaints were judged on their merits—New York City and Oakland/San Francisco, the complaints were dismissed. Honolulu’s complaint is no different, resulting from a similarly flawed argument of public nuisance theory and driven by plaintiffs’ attorneys who want to profit while potentially leaving taxpayers with a big bill.

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