LOGA president applauds decision to dismiss climate change lawsuits

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 30, 2018

District Judge William Alsup tossed out the California cities' climate change allegations against five oil companies.   File photo

BATON ROUGE — The president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) applauds a California federal judge's decision to toss climate change lawsuits against Big Oil.

LOGA President Gifford Briggs said the association welcomed the judge's action in throwing out the "fictitious lawsuit."

"The truth is that in Louisiana, the environment and air quality continue to improve daily.," Briggs said in an interview with The Louisiana Record

Briggs said many are trying to make Louisiana a better place.

"Companies are investing millions in technology each year to make Louisiana a better place to live," Briggs said. "Instead of filing frivolous lawsuits, we should be celebrating the better Louisiana that is being created by the job producers in the state."

The lawsuits were initially filed in Superior Court of Alameda, California, on Sept. 19, 2017. They were then removed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Oct. 20, 2017. 

San Francisco and Oakland filed the suits against Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and Royal Dutch Shell. There have also been several similar lawsuits filed by New York and other California cities and counties.

The lawsuits state that global warming is here and it is harming the cities now. The cities claimed that global warming has accelerated the sea level rise through thermal expansion of ocean water and melting of land-based ice. The suits state that sea levels are rising at an unprecedented rate.

"Global warming-induced sea level rise already is causing flooding of low-lying areas of Oakland that border the San Francisco Bay, increased shoreline erosion, and saltwater impacts to water treatment systems," one of the suits stated.

District Judge William Alsup tossed out the allegations June 25, ruling that Congress was better suited to address climate change.

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