Colorado Governments Sue Oil and Gas Companies Over Climate Change

by | April 19, 2018 AT 10:01 AM

The city of Boulder, Boulder County and San Miguel County today announced they have sued ExxonMobil and Suncor for their "reckless actions and damages" in helping cause global climate change.

Boulder County announced the lawsuit, which had been anticipated, on its website this morning, and is taking part, along with Boulder and San Miguel, in a previously announced "Rally for Climate Change Accountability" at noon today in front of the Boulder County Courthouse off the Pearl Street Mall.

The lawsuit by the three Colorado governments is the 10th in the United States against fossil fuel corporations "that knew their products would cause climate change and harm communities," according to Boulder County's announcement.

The governments are seeking a so-far-unspecified amount of compensation from ExxonMobil and Suncor to cover their costs related to climate change damages.

"In Colorado communities suffering from the economic, health and safety consequences of climate change, it is unjust for these costs to fall entirely on taxpayers," Boulder County says in its statement. "It's only fair that the companies that profited from their own reckless behavior to compensate communities for the harm they caused."

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association issued a statement calling the lawsuit a "political stunt," adding, "Oil and natural gas operators should not be subject to liability for doing nothing more than engaging in the act of commerce while adhering to our already stringent state and federal laws."

A statement by Scott Silvestri, corporate media relations manager for ExxonMobil said, "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global issue and requires global participation and actions. Lawsuits like this -- filed by trial attorneys against an industry that provides products we all rely upon to power the economy and enable our domestic life -- simply do not do that."

Suncor has not yet made any comments on the lawsuit.

(c)2018 the Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.)