Lawsuit not the best way to address climate change, Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch says

By Carrie Bradon | Dec 12, 2018

The Supreme Court recently allowed a group of young Americans ages 11 to 22 to proceed with their lawsuit alleging the federal government is not taking the necessary actions to combat climate change, a recent posting on nola.com said.

The Supreme Court issued the decision Nov. 2 on the suit filed in 2015 by the 21 plaintiffs represented by the group Our Children's Trust, the posting said.

One of the plaintiffs, Jayden Foytlin, who was 14 at the time she joined the lawsuit in 2015, is a resident of Louisiana and has been vocal in her demands that more serious actions need to be taken regarding the climate. 

Lana Venable of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch recently spoke with the Louisiana Record about the need for climate conscious actions and the need to protect the energy industry in Louisiana. 

"We all recognize the need to protect our families, businesses and communities from hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters," Venable told the Louisiana Record

However, Venable said, lawsuits are not the best way to resolve issues of such immense importance – political leadership and public deliberation are more efficient ways to solve such problems.

It is short-sighted "to allege that a few select American oil and gas companies were single-handedly responsible for causing global climate change when there are many sources of greenhouse gas emissions all over the world," Venable said.

Venable said that the energy companies in Louisiana, rather than injuring the environment, are providing thousands of quality jobs for residents and should not be repeatedly attacked by lawsuits. 

"Further, with little oversight of private lawyers and no strings attached to the dollars recovered in these cases, there is no rational reason to believe a legal settlement would have any meaningful impact on our nation’s – or Louisiana’s – environmental challenges," Venable said. 

Foytlin and other plaintiffs in the case are being represented by Our Children's Trust, a group of professional lawyers that are giving minors a voice when it comes to climate issues. 

Rather than involving private lawyers, Venable said, public policy debates such as this should be accomplished through legislation.

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