The US Supreme Court has handled some controversial cases in recent years. Citizens United and the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling have brought protesters out of their parent’s basements to the steps of the Supreme Court.
Energy companies that produce fossil fuels for energy are the courtroom targets of environmentalists who feel solar, wind and EV vehicles will save the planet.
On Monday, April 23, Energy Companies were in the crosshairs of local governments for their alleged climate damage. The Justices decided they would not hear the case.
Three justices ruled on the matter. The dissenting justices were Justice Sotomayor, with whom Justice Kagan and Justice Jackson.
The local governments want the energy companies held financially responsible for burning fossil fuels they claim are harming the environment.
The court would need to decide if the energy company’s request for a decision on where the disputes should be settled — state or federal court.
The energy companies are in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, and Rhode Island.
Environmental activists feel that state courts will be more receptive to their climate change position and rule in their favor against the energy giants. Suncor Energy submitted a brief to the court using a case against Boulder County, Colorado, in which they claimed the case was an ideal precedent for addressing the jurisdiction issue.
Special Council, Phil Goldberg, representing the Manufacturers Accountability Project, stated that a patchwork of state court decisions would be better served because the energy company’s projects are both global and federal in scope.
Goldberg also claimed the court’s decision doesn’t change the fact that energy doesn’t induce liability.
A New York court dismissed a similar case in 2021 that there’s no factual or legal foundation for the claims made by the local governments.
The court did not issue any statement regarding the reason for its decision. Justice Sammuel Alito recused himself from the previously mentioned Boulder case due to ownership of oil company stock. Justice Kavanaugh stated that he would have been in favor of the energy company’s petition.