Attorney General Alan Wilson joins 15-state coalition seeking dismissal of lawsuit against energy and manufacturing companies

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 25, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined a 15-state coalition of attorneys general fighting a lawsuit filed by San Francisco and Oakland against various energy and manufacturing companies. According to the states’ brief, the cities are suing in the name of the State of California, “to harness the power and prestige of federal courts to remedy global climate change.”

“We cannot let two California cities use the court system to set energy policy for the whole country and bypass our elected representatives in Congress,” Attorney General Wilson said. “This lawsuit would be a disaster for other cities and states and for job creators.”

San Francisco and Oakland are claiming that five fossil fuel corporations and third parties that use those fuels are contributing to global climate change so much that they should be considered a “public nuisance” that the federal courts should stop.

The 15 states joining the lawsuit argue that, since the plaintiffs’ theory of liability involves nothing more specific than “promoting the use of fossil fuels,” other cities and states could be defendants in future lawsuits because of their facilities, vehicle fleets, and highway construction. Other corporations and job creators could also be defendants in future lawsuits.

“This matter should be dismissed because the suit filed by California municipalities is not about the law; rather, it is about circumventing separations of power and using California judges as the arbiters of national energy policy. New York City and various Colorado municipalities have filed copycat actions,” said Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, who is leading the 15-state coalition. “Our amicus brief should send a loud message that the rest of the nation will not stand idle while California tries to become its own regulatory empire.”

You can read the states’ amicus brief here.

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