New York Burghal Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks with reporters about diplomacy for an accessible snow storm in January. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
This week, ExxonMobil asked to depose 16 California accompaniment admiral who sued the company over diplomacy armament they say is warming the planet, adopting the seas and, they contend, aggressive their communities — just the best contempo accretion in the acknowledged action between the better U.S. oil and gas firms and blue-state admiral over altitude change.
Undeterred, one of the best arresting associates of the closing accumulation — New York Burghal Mayor Bill de Blasio — sued ExxonMobil and four other oil companies on Wednesday, gluttonous to authority them amenable for present and approaching amercement to the burghal from altitude change.
The suit, filed Tuesday adjoin BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, claims the companies calm produced 11 percent of all of all-around abating gases through the oil and gas articles they accept awash over the years, Chris Mooney and I reported Wednesday. It also charges that the companies and the industry accept accepted for some time about the “consequences of altitude change” but approved to abstruse them.
“In this litigation, the Burghal seeks to shift the costs of attention the Burghal from altitude change impacts aback assimilate the companies that accept done about all they could to actualize this existential threat,” says the accusation brought by New York association admonition Zachary Carter, which was filed in U.S. District Cloister for the Southern District of New York.
The burghal of New York joins the accompaniment of New York in taking acknowledged action adjoin ExxonMobil, a aggregation that was already headquartered in Manhattan. The Empire State’s advocate general, Eric Schneiderman, is investigating whether the aggregation addled investors about the risks altitude change airish to its abiding business. ExxonMobil has approved in cloister to stop that investigation, forth with a alongside one actuality agitated out by Massachusetts.
The accusation marks a renewed emphasis among Democrats and their ecology allies on holding oil companies answerable for what they see as their role in global abating — alike as abundant of the activist action about altitude change is actuality austere angry and angry adjoin Admiral Trump for rolling aback ecology regulations and advertisement the United States would cull out of the Paris altitude agreement.
The acknowledged action actuality pursued by New York Burghal has been embraced by several California cities and counties, but lawsuits gluttonous to accusation companies for their declared role accept floundered.
It charcoal cryptic whether a new beachcomber of action — propelled by stronger altitude science, letters about how abundant some companies knew about altitude change decades ago, and somewhat aberrant acknowledged action — will accomplish breadth those efforts failed.
Last year, California’s Marin County, San Mateo Canton and the Burghal of Imperial Beach similarly sued a accumulation of deposit armament companies over amercement accompanying to altitude change — citation a approach alleged “public nuisance,” which basically argues that companies are causing an abrasion to the localities beneath accepted law. The cities of San Francisco and Oakland and the burghal and canton of Santa Cruz accept additionally filed suit this year.
“I anticipate the cogent development actuality is that this is the aboriginal of these cases in this aftermost year that’s filed alfresco of California,” said Michael Burger, who directs the Sabin Center for Altitude Change Law at Columbia University. If added and added localities sue, “we adeptness be able to see able burden activated to these companies to affect action on altitude change,” he said.
So far, that has not been the case. ExxonMobil has instead responded strongly to the claims by requesting depositions for “potential claims of corruption of process, civilian conspiracy, and abuse of ExxonMobil’s civilian rights.”
BP and ConocoPhillips, two added defendants alleged in the lawsuit, beneath to comment. The added three argued the cloister arrangement is not the abode to achieve altitude policy.
Several cases challenging alone companies based on a “public nuisance” approach accept bootless — including at the Supreme Court, which ruled in 2011 that altitude accomplishments by the Ecology Protection Bureau in aftereffect removed the adeptness to use the courts as a remedy.
The aberration now, Burger said, is that the claims are actuality brought beneath state, rather than federal, law — and that action charcoal to be tested.
New York accuse in the clothing that it is “spending billions of dollars” to assure its coastlines, its basement and its citizens from altitude warming.
“To accordance with what the approaching will accordingly bring, the Burghal charge body sea walls, levees, dunes, and added littoral armament, and drag and amalgamate a all-inclusive arrangement of City-owned structures, properties, and parks forth its coastline,” the clothing says. “The costs of these abundantly unfunded projects run to abounding billions of dollars and far beat the City’s resources.”
The clothing does not specify how abundant money it is allurement for from the oil companies in what it calls “compensatory damages,” adage that should be accustomed by the acknowledged proceedings.
At a account appointment Wednesday afternoon, de Blasio focused on the confusion acquired by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, calling it “a tragedy wrought by the accomplishments of the deposit armament companies.” He abundant the 44 bodies who died in New York as a aftereffect of Sandy, as able-bodied as the estimated $19 billion in amercement it caused, saying: “That is the face of altitude change. That is what it bureau in animal and absolute terms.”
De Blasio claimed deposit armament companies were complicit in deepening altitude change because they knew of the botheration decades ago but connected to advertise a artefact to Americans that contributed to added greenhouse gas emissions.
“The burghal of New York is demography on these bristles giants because they are the axial actors, they are the aboriginal ones amenable for this crisis, and they should not get abroad with it anymore,” he said. “We’re action afterwards those who accept profited. And what a horrible, abominable way to accumulation — the way it puts so abounding people’s lives in danger. It’s time that they are captivated accountable. It’s time that things change in the way we do business.”
In accession to the litigation, admiral said they apprehend to bankrupt up to $5 billion in investments from as abounding as 190 companies with deposit armament ties, alike as they promised to advance their fiduciary assignment to New York’s pensioners.
“We’re application this moment to accelerate a bulletin to the world,” New York Comptroller Scott Stringer said. “We accept a blooming abridgement is a advancing economy.”
Bill McKibben, an columnist and co-founder of altitude advancement accumulation 350.org, accepted the city’s accomplishments on Wednesday.
“I’ve been watching the altitude action for the aftermost 30 years,” McKibben told reporters. “This is one of the scattering of best important moments in that 30-year fight.”
But the oil and gas antechamber said that by not advance in their industry, New York was accomplishing burghal workers a disservice.
“Today Mayor de Blasio angry his aback millions of aboriginal responders, badge admiral and accessible advisers who depend on their pensions to accommodate for themselves and their families in retirement,” said Karen Moreau of the American Petroleum Institute, the better U.S. oil and gas lobbying group.
“Government alimony managers accept a albatross by law to seek the greatest acknowledgment for their investors, and pensions that advance in oil and accustomed gas companies accept delivered a stronger acknowledgment than added investments.”
— The bake continues afterwards Interior’s Sunshine Accompaniment decision: In an account Wednesday with The Post’s Darryl Fears, Autogenous Secretary Ryan Zinke defended his accommodation to absolved Florida — and aloof Florida, so far — from Interior’s five-year adopted oil conduct plan afterwards about a dozen governors asked for their states to be removed from consideration.
Zinke said he aboriginal met Scott aback his accompaniment and the federal government were advancing for Hurricane Irma, afresh a added time aback the two formed on Everglades restoration. Zinke said he acquainted a claimed affiliation with the governor, so aback Scott contacted him in writing about the adopted decision, he acquainted an obligation to respond.
“Quite frankly, Gov. Scott alleged me and [also] bidding in autograph a admiration to accept a meeting,” he said. That affair was the aboriginal “in what I accept will be a alternation of conversations” with added governors, the secretary said. “I will no agnosticism allocution to every governor. It doesn’t amount to me whether you’re Republican or Democrat. This is action to be a connected process. This is action to be at atomic a year with accessible comment. We accept to get it right, attending at the geology, attending at the science.”
Scott’s appointment said the governor aloft the affair alone with Zinke during a Capitol Hill affair in October.
Despite that charge to accommodated with every accompaniment leader, at atomic one Democratic governor — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown — had agitation accepting Zinke to acknowledgment her calls, she said on CNN according to New York Times anchorman Lisa Friedman.
David Weigel and John Wagner accept added on the “bipartisan uproar” over Zinke’s conduct decision: “Nine of the 11 states that adjoin the conduct adjustment accept gubernatorial contest this year, and abounding of the best aggressive contests for the House of Representatives will disentangle in districts that blow bank … “
Prominent Republicans airtight Trump over the decision:
Democrats were additionally unhappy:
— Autogenous reorg: Zinke made added account by rolling out a plan to accommodate his department, which in The Post interview he alleged “his better priority, in accession to shoring up the Civic Park Service’s crumbling infrastructure, with its $12 billion arrears for aliment of buildings, roads, bridges and added projects.”
Noting that regions aural Autogenous bureaus are not “aligned geographically,” Zinke said he wants regions to be authentic by watersheds and geographic basins instead. For example, The Post’s Darryl Fears and Juliet Eilperin write, a distinct beck with trout and apricot can abatement beneath the appearance of bristles abstracted agencies, one for each fish, addition for a dam afterwards and yet addition to administer the water, and anniversary accomplish letters that generally conflict.
Zinke said the Trump administering is planning hearings on the Hill to accomplish abiding his plan lures bipartisan support. Moving bags of advisers about the country would crave aldermanic authorization.
Former autogenous secretary Sally Jewell was one of several people who bidding agnosticism that such a across-the-board about-face can work, citation a time when Interior approved to consolidate the Bureau of Land Management offices for New Mexico and Arizona because the cartography of the states is so similar. “Congress came afterwards us,” she said. “You would’ve anticipation we were catastrophe the apple as we knew it.”
— Parsing Trump’s action chatter: Speaking Wednesday during a collective account appointment with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Trump riffed on about at atomic three altered action issues — anniversary of them head-scratchers: Let’s explain:
1) Trump praised hydropower by complimenting Norway. “One of the abundant assets of Norway is a affair alleged ‘water,’ ” Trump said, “and they accept amazing hydropower. Tremendous. In fact, best of your electricity is produced by hydro.”
That is true, The Post’s Philip Bump explains, aback Norway gets added than 95 percent of its adeptness from hydroelectricity. But the United States gets a cogent allocation of its electricity from hydroelectric generation, too — 5 percent of it, making hydropower the fifth-largest bearing adjustment in the country.
2) Trump criticizes wind energy: Admitting nominally accepting an “all of the above” action strategy, Trump connected his aspersion of wind turbines — or as he has appear to alarm them, “windmills.” “My adversary Hillary was not for a able military, she was for windmills,” he said. As Amy Harder at Axios explains:
3) Trump said the United States could “conceivably go aback in” to the Paris deal: “Frankly, it’s an acceding that I accept no botheration with, but I had a botheration with the acceding that they signed, because, as usual, they fabricated a bad deal,” the admiral said.
It beats us to explain how Trump could accompanying accept “a botheration with the acceding that they signed” yet still say “it’s an acceding that I accept no botheration with.” Best guess: Trump does not booty affair with a altitude acceding in principle, but does article to the accurate acceding Admiral Obama brokered. Trump signaled a acknowledgment to the accordance would depend on a accordance that did not amerce the country for its fossil fuels.
In any case, the president’s Paris animadversion Wednesday were aloof addition in a connected band of Trump hinting that he could be affected to change his attitude — alone to after do what he was action to do all along, and get out of the agreement.
— Pruitt wants “open honest” altitude talk: In an account with Reuters this week, Ecology Protection Bureau arch Scott Pruitt said accepting an “open honest transparent” altercation about the alteration altitude was one of this year’s priorities for the agency. Additionally amid his priorities: replacing Obama-era apple-pie baptize regulations and ambidextrous with advance contagion in accessible water.
“The altitude is changing. That’s not the debate. The agitation is how do we apperceive what the ideal apparent temperature is in 2100?,” he said.
Scientists adverse that an accessible altercation — in bookish journals and conferences — is already how altitude science is agitated out, and that the all-inclusive majority of climate scientists have assured animal action is abating the planet.
— Pruitt probe, expanded: Meanwhile, the EPA’s centralized babysitter has expanded for the third time its assay of Pruitt’s travel. “Based on added aldermanic request, the ambit of our assay is now broadcast to accommodate the Administrator’s biking through December 31, 2017,” the ambassador accepted said in a Wednesday notice.
— Trump’s ambiguous renominations: The Washington Post’s John Wagner letters on the bulk of arguable administering picks the admiral has submitted for reconsideration, admitting the actuality that some of the nominees withdrew or languished in the GOP-controlled Senate aftermost year. Amid the renominations are Jim Bridenstine, appointee for NASA administrator, and Kathleen Hartnett White, the arguable appointee to advance the Council on Ecology Quality who bidding doubts about altitude change.
“They’ve renominated a lot of association who aren’t action to be confirmed,” Jim Manley, a lobbyist and longtime abettor to above Senate boyhood baton Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), told The Post. “Instead of award added able candidates, they’re acceleration bottomward and aggravating to cycle the Senate.”
-— GOP leaders nix gas tax talks: Republican leaders bound shut bottomward a advancement from Trump to access the gas tax to advice pay for a civic basement plan, The Post’s Damian Paletta and Erica Werner report. Trump had proposed adopting the gas tax to 50 cents per gallon, which would be amateur the accepted level.
Zinke aloof handed adopted conduct foes armament for lawsuits by declaring the Florida bank off limits.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) acclimated his Accompaniment of the Accompaniment address Tuesday to adduce a new tax on carbon emissions, which would accomplish his accompaniment the aboriginal to burden taxes on bartering and automated polluters.
This book photo taken on November 4, 2014 shows the Ford logo on a barter in Manhattan Beach, California. (AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECKROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
— Barter pollution levels called rigged: Ford Motor Company is actuality sued for accouterment at atomic 500,000 able trucks to canyon emissions tests, according to a new accusation filed from truck owners. The aggregation is the latest in the account of top automakers accused of cheating emissions standards, starting with allegations adjoin Volkswagen in 2015. Bloomberg Account has the details: “Ford’s F-250 and F-350 Super Assignment agent pickups, a allotment of the top-selling F-Series, are spewing emissions as abundant as 50 times the acknowledged absolute for nitrogen oxide pollutants, according to the complaint. The trucks awash from 2011 to 2017 amount $8,400 added than their gasoline-fueled counterparts, the filing shows.”
— Addition accumulation agitated with Zinke’s Florida accommodation is Big Oil: Jack Gerard, admiral of the American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s better lobbying group, alleged the advertisement “premature” in a account Wednesday.
“Americans abutment added calm action production,” Gerard said, “and the administering and policymakers should chase the accustomed action afore authoritative any decisions or abstracts that would attenuate our nation’s action security.” API cited the eastern Gulf of Mexico — a arena south of the Florida batter and west of Tampa Bay and the Florida Keys — as an breadth of absorption for development. Oil conduct is already accustomed in the western and axial Gulf regions, where the Deepwater Horizon adversity occurred in 2010.
Bob Dudley throws algid baptize on the abstraction oil companies are action to jump on conduct new wells off U.S. coasts.
— Latest on the California mudslides: Dozens of bodies are still missing as the adverse mudslides abide to demolish Southern California. The afterlife assessment rose to 17 as of Wednesday, with 28 bodies appear afflicted and addition 17 missing, the Los Angeles Times reported. So far, the mudflow acquired by abundant rains in the areas ravaged by contempo fires has destroyed added than 100 homes and damaged 300 more.
In Montecito’s Romero Canyon area, hundreds of bodies trapped by bits were apprehension accomplishment on Wednesday.
Max Ufberg, Mark Berman and Scott Wilson report: “The animal tragedy, which abundant brief Tuesday and connected Wednesday, far exceeded the affecting bite of the astringent acreage damage. Whole families accept been agitated abroad by the mud. Rescued accouchement who survived their parents abide in analytical action in a hospital whose staffers are challenged by alley closures and their own damaged property.”
Capital Acclimate Gang’s Angela Fritz explains how the Thomas Fire, the better bonfire in the state’s history, buried the berry for the baleful mudslides: “There was no warning, admiral said, which is about consistently the case with mudslides. They appear with no notice, except for the anguish rain… It’s one of nature’s added adverse paradoxes; a abhorrent bonfire season, one that begs for air-conditioned canicule and torrential rain, generally evolves into an appropriately austere winter with baleful beam calamity and mudslides. Wildfires don’t aloof bake aboveground plants and structures; they physically adapt the arena itself. So, while it’s accurate that the absence of trees, grass and besom in a bonfire blister will advance baptize movement and beam flooding, it’s not the better effect… Intense wildfires break appropriate through that plant-friendly stuff.”
Bitterly algid acclimate advance to bankrupt pipes a Calverton Elementary-Middle Academy in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
— Algid exposes basement woes: The contempo acute algid has appear apropos with subpar altitude in some schools in big-city districts, including declining heating systems and beginning pipes, a new assay from the Associated Press has found: “Experts who accept been aural alarms about the accompaniment of abounding accessible academy barrio say the problems that addled aftermost anniversary are a absolute aftereffect of years of bare allotment for basal upkeep. The charge is abnormally abundant in burghal centers breadth earlier barrio serve poorer accouchement and aliment is generally put off until it becomes an exponentially added cher emergency repair… In Baltimore, six schools were still bankrupt aboriginal this week, bottomward from 60 at the acme of the district’s heating crisis. Images broadcast on amusing media aftermost anniversary of Baltimore acceptance arranged up in winter jackets in their classrooms and abrading their easily calm for warmth.”
Because of altitude change, by midcentury abounding above-mentioned Winter Games locations may be too balmy to anytime host the Olympics again.
The New York Times
Ice breakers convoying the Hudson River during a New York freeze:
The Post’s Heather Long grades bristles factors of the abridgement beneath Admiral Trump:
At the European premiere of “The Post,” Actor Tom Hanks criticized those who are ‘delegitimizing’ the chargeless press:
Watch Jimmy Kimmel on “Trump’s 2,000 lies:”
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