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October 25 2018

What’s happening with the Boulder climate lawsuit…

by Amy Cooke

Currently, the proceeding is at a standstill—pending the final decision on its venue. The plaintiffs (Boulder city and county and San Miguel County) originally filed the case in the Boulder County District Court, but it has since been removed to the U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado. After which, the plaintiffs filed a motion to repeal the removal, most likely because a jury trial in Boulder is more likely to be successful because of a friendlier jury pool.

The latest move came from the defendants (Exxon Mobile and Suncor), who filed a brief in response to the plaintiffs’ request to move the hearing back to Boulder. In it, they argued the case should be heard in a Federal District Court because of the international implications related to carbon emissions. They also cited the recent decisions to throw out the New York and California climate action lawsuits.

US District Court Judge Michael Hegarty is still determining the proceeding’s final location.

It’s important to note, that a hearing in Colorado’s Federal District Court would be a huge victory for the defendants, though. The rationale behind the recent rulings and the statements made by Judge William Alsup, the California Judge, and Judge John Keenan, the New York Judge, indicate federal courts and judges favor logic over emotional, climate change alarmism. Both judges expressed their concern about judicial activism, and they concluded that Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency are responsible for issues regarding climate change and emissions.  

The judges also attacked the plaintiffs’ hypocrisy. Here is what Judge Keenan said during one of the hearings: “I mean, aren’t the plaintiffs [New York City] using the product that is being the subject of the lawsuit and haven’t they been using it and aren’t they continuing to use it…If you go out the door and over to Foley Square…you’re going to find police cars.”

Of course, climate change skeptics have been critical of this dishonesty for years, but it’s refreshing to see sound reasoning coming out of the courts. After all, these proceedings epitomize the environmental movement’s hypocrisy and arrogance, and they’re comparable to Hollywood celebrities flying in private jets lecturing the rest of us about reducing our carbon footprint.

The same hypocrisy is present in Boulder’s lawsuit. For examples, watch the case’s promotional video. While it does deserve an A rating for it use of effects and music, it shows the city using carbon emitting tractors and touts its support for electric cars that are more than likely powered by fossil fuel generation.

Moreover, the City of Boulder emits 1.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, or 19 times what ExxonMobil emits in Colorado.

Judge Hegarty will issue a final ruling on the location in the next couple of months. If he removes the hearing back to Boulder for a jury trial, smart money will be on a guilty verdict. Vice versa, if it remains in Federal Court, precedent indicates the chips will fall in Exxon and Suncor’s favor. Whether Judge Hegarty hears the case or not, he is about to issue the most critical ruling besides the final verdict.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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