Boulder Climate Lawsuit Boils Down to Money, Not Carbon

by Kathleen Sgamma, President on April 26, 2018 - 1:04pm

The City and County of Boulder and San Miguel County (county seat of Telluride) have joined coastal states and communities by filing lawsuits against oil and natural gas companies regarding climate change.

It’s easy to shake our heads and point out the hypocrisy of Boulder, California and New York trying to pin climate change on oil and natural gas companies while their politicians and citizens continue to consume their products voraciously, but these lawsuits do pose a serious threat to the industry. It’s no longer safe to assume that judges will throw out these lawsuits as frivolous. It’s no longer a given that all judges will recognize that addressing broad policies like climate change is the responsibility of elected officials of the People, and may assume that role for themselves.

We’ll continue to make the case to anyone who will listen that the benefits of oil and natural gas far outweigh the impacts. The countless benefits our industry provides Boulder residents–from warm homes in the winter to affordable, 24/7 electricity and reliable transportation, to name just a few–are never acknowledged by the activist groups behind these lawsuits. If citizens didn’t derive so many lifesaving and life preserving benefits from oil and natural gas, they wouldn’t consume them.

At times like these, it’s helpful to remember the huge improvements oil and natural gas have made in people’s lives, lifting billions out of poverty. It’s no coincidence that as energy use and hence greenhouse gas emissions have risen, global poverty and infant mortality have decreased.


Source: The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, Alex Epstein

We’ll continue to highlight to the public that the oil and natural gas industry is the number one reason the United States has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than any other country. Increased use of natural gas has provided 63% of the emissions reductions in the electricity sector over the last decade, compared to just 37% from wind, solar and other non-carbon sources combined.

But for those who continue to ignore the benefits the industry provides and our role in delivering real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, Western Wire will continue to point out the fact that those pushing these lawsuits have deep ties with activist groups like the Sierra Club and the foundations that fund them. The plaintiff’s attorney is the Hannon Law Firm, a personal injury firm. That’s right, the attorneys running this case are ambulance chasers.

This isn’t about a meaningful solution to climate change; it’s about the money.