Litigants Want Energy Companies to Pay for Climate Change, But They Omitted One Key Detail

Last week, plaintiffs’ attorneys filed documents in two separate court cases that aim to make energy companies pay billions of dollars for climate change. But the filings reveal an inconvenient truth for the litigants: they ascribe costs and damages to the defendants that are either undefined or do not exist.

One of the filings was a memo from Hagens Berman, the law firm representing San Francisco and Oakland in their lawsuit. The memo argues that the judge need not consider the “utility” of fossil fuels or whether those benefits outweigh their “costs.”

David Bookbinder, the attorney behind a set of climate lawsuits in Colorado, filed the second document in a related case brought by New York City, which is also represented by Hagens Berman. An investigation by Energy In Depth found that Bookbinder may have misled the public about his involvement in the climate cases taking place outside of Colorado, as evidence suggests he has been coordinating with Hagens Berman on their lawsuits.

See what the two key flaws in their arguments are at EID Climate.

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