Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Fossil fuel groups try to flee landmark climate lawsuit before it goes to trial

Natasha Geiling
Reporter at ThinkProgress. Contact me: ngeiling@americanprogress.org
May 26

On the eve of discovery, all three industry groups are seeking to withdraw from a historic climate lawsuit.

Three fossil fuel industry groups are seeking to withdraw from a landmark climate change lawsuit?—?brought against the federal government by a group of youth plaintiffs?—?filing motions to withdraw on the same day that crucial discovery was required in the case.

The American Petroleum Institute (API), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)?—?all major trade groups representing fossil fuel and manufacturing interests?—?did not explicitly state their reasons for wanting to withdraw from the case, though they did all note that leaving would “reduce the amount of discovery and avoid the possibility of duplicative discovery efforts and duplicative proceedings.”

The groups had been ordered to submit to the court their responses to several key questions pertaining to the case, including their position on the science behind climate change. Those responses were supposed to be filed by May 25?—?instead, all three groups filed motions to withdraw.
Kids take to the steps of the Supreme Court to demand climate action

“API and its members will not come clean on the facts of climate change because they know it exposes them to liability for the damage they too have caused to the global climate system,” Julia Olson, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and executive director of Our Children’s Trust, said in a statement. “After these youths sued the government, the trade associations pleaded their members’ interests would be destroyed if they weren’t allowed to be in the case, but now they are running for the hills. Now, they’ve decided they’re better off being on the sidelines than subjecting themselves to discovery.”

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