This article discusses the EPA attempting to join lawsuits on the side of the fossil fuel industry against cities that want Big Oil to compensate for climate damages. Why? Because federal lawyers say such an outcome would curb fossil fuel production, a Trump priority.
Just before a critical hearing to determine the fate of a pair of climate lawsuits in California, the United States government has weighed in as a heavyweight ally on the side of the fossil fuel companies.
Lawyers from the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division filed a friend of the court brief last week in support of five of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, which are seeking to have lawsuits by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland dismissed.
U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup is scheduled to hear arguments on Thursday on a motion by the companies to throw out the cases.
Federal lawyers argue in their brief that if the two lawsuits succeed, it could stymie domestic and international energy production.
“The United States has strong economic and national security interests in promoting the development of fossil fuels, among other energy resources,” according to the 24-page brief filed May 10.
The brief cites President Trump’s March 2017 Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, suggesting the fight being waged by the two cities against the companies runs counter to the administration’s support of unrestricted fossil fuel development.