West Coast Attorneys General Trying Again on Climate Litigaton?

The attorneys general for Washington State and Oregon will join forces with the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI) tomorrow in what could be a step toward a climate lawsuit in the Pacific Northwest that’s been considered for years before but has ultimately never come to pass.

The event, hosted by the Lewis & Clark College law school’s Green Energy Institute on Thursday, will discuss “the scientific basis for holding the fossil fuel industry accountable, and legal and community perspectives on climate litigation.” This type of event – a panel discussion focused on the merits of municipal and state-driven climate litigation organized by CCI – has been a precursor to lawsuits in multiple instances in the past, including in Hawai’i, Minnesota and New Jersey.

Both Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum have portrayed strong interest for climate litigation over the years and have worked with outside activist groups and legal centers to support this work – relationships that have led to several missteps. Even as the climate litigation campaign has so far been marked by failure, their participation in a CCI-sponsored event – an activist group that’s been a leading outside voice and financier supporting climate lawsuits – shows that they may be trying again, despite previous hesitations.

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