“Big Oil Seeks Supreme Court Ruling to Derail Climate Litigation”

“A set of “extraordinary” claims seeking to hold the oil and gas industry liable for greenhouse gas emissions belongs in federal court, industry lawyers told the U.S. Supreme Court in a new brief that aims to undermine climate litigation across the country.

Lawyers for BP Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., and other companies are waging a highly technical dispute against the city of Baltimore at the Supreme Court, involving the scope of appellate review for certain scuffles over state-versus-federal court venue. But in an effort to fast-track the resolution of bigger issues, they’re also calling on the high court to rule that legal claims related to interstate emissions arise exclusively under federal law.

“Those claims allege injury caused by interstate emissions, and the Court’s precedents dictate that such claims necessarily and exclusively arise under federal common law,” the industry’s legal team argued in a brief docketed Monday. “To preserve judicial resources, the Court should address that ground for removal and confirm that this case and others like it belong in federal court.””

Ellen M. Gilmer reports for Bloomberg Environment November 16, 2020.