Drilled News Op-Ed: The Supreme Court’s Obscure Procedural Ruling In Baltimore’s Climate Case, Explained

Karen Sokol

May 27, 2021

This op-ed was originally published in Drilled News on May 26, 2021. This is an excerpt.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on an important case about whether major oil and gas companies should be held accountable for engaging in a systematic marketing campaign to deceive the public about the catastrophic threat that fossil fuel products pose to the planet. 

The Court didn’t consider the merits of the case but rather answered an obscure procedural question in a way that permits the defendants to continue to delay litigation in state court, and thereby also serves to deny the public essential information about the fossil fuel industry’s attempt to spread disinformation about its products’ role in fueling the climate crisis.

In the case, Baltimore alleges that the companies used deceptive marketing tactics to hide the danger of fossil fuel products in order to preserve their massive profit streams, in violation of state tort and statutory law. Baltimore argues that these companies should thus help pay for the city’s efforts to respond to sea level rise, increased flooding, extreme heat, and other dangers to the city’s residents and infrastructure caused by the climate crisis. Numerous other cities, counties, and states have filed similar cases.

Read the rest of this op-ed online at Drilled News.

Subscribe to CPR Resources

Read More by Karen Sokol
CPR HOMEPAGE
More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
June 16, 2021

Waters of the United States, 2021/2022 Edition, Part I

June 16, 2021

Waters of the United States, 2021/2022 Edition, Part II

June 15, 2021

Wind on the Water: Five Benefits of Offshore Wind Energy

June 10, 2021

Department of Labor's Emergency Temporary Standard Too Weak to Protect All Workers from COVID-19

June 9, 2021

CPR Scholars and Staff Back EPA's Plan to Eliminate Trump 'Benefits-Busting' Rule

June 9, 2021

What Have We Learned from Recent Disasters?

June 8, 2021

Waiting for a Reckoning: Reflections on World Oceans Day, the BP Oil Spill, and Worker Safety