By Karen Savage
The production and promotion of fossil fuels don’t cause climate change, an attorney for ExxonMobil claimed during a hearing held before a Colorado state court judge on Monday.
“The climate change effects of which the plaintiffs complain are caused by emissions. Not by production, not by promotion,” Exxon attorney Daniel Toal said in arguing for dismissal of a lawsuit filed against it and Suncor Energy by the counties of Boulder and San Miguel and the city of Boulder. The suit, filed in state court in 2018, alleges that companies knew for decades that their products contributed to climate change, but deliberately deceived the public about that risk and violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act with their deceptive practices.
The municipalities contend the suit is not about regulating emissions.
“This case is about getting parties who are responsible to pay their fair share instead of foisting those costs onto local taxpayers,” argued Richard Herz, an attorney with EarthRights International, which is representing the plaintiffs.
In his arguments, Toal did not explain how greenhouse gas emissions, which are caused by the burning of fossil fuel products, could happen if not for the production, sales and promotion of oil and gas by Exxon and other companies.
The arguments were part of a lengthy hearing held remotely by Boulder District Judge Judith LaBuda on Monday to deal with motions filed by Exxon, Suncor Energy USA, Suncor Energy Inc. and Suncor Energy Sales.[Read more…]