Judge tells plaintiff's suing Big Oil to write a 10 page essay on the benefits of fossil fuels since 1859
California cities suing over climate change must examine the benefits fossil fuels have had on civilization, per an assignment from a federal judge.His last statement is a key problem for the plaintiffs. If they were serious about their complaint they would be asking for an injunction to stop the extraction and use of fossil fuels, but if they did that it would bring commerce to a halt and bankrupt the cities too. I think the judge sees the problem and his assignment will get the plaintiffs to also focus on it. The whole case has teh appearance of a liberal shakedown racket.
On Thursday, Judge Alsup gave attorneys for Oakland, San Francisco and Chevron Corp. an interesting homework assignment: create a 10-page legal analysis on whether the benefits of years of U.S. dependence on fossil fuels were worth the climate change it caused....
“We needed oil and fossil fuels to get from 1859 to the present,” Judge Alsup stated. “Yes, that’s causing global warming. But against that negative, we need to weigh-in the larger benefits that have flowed from the use of fossil fuels. It’s been a huge, huge benefit.”
Judge Alsup centered his questions on the “broader sweep of history” and the role fossil fuels played in both World Wars and the economic boom the U.S. experienced afterward. All five oil companies are seeking dismissal, but only Chevron will respond to the judge’s assignment since the other defendants are seeking dismissal on jurisdictional grounds.
“You’re asking for billions of dollars for something that hasn’t happened yet,” Alsup said during a back-and-forth with Steve Berman, the plaintiff’s attorney. “We’re trying to predict how bad global warming will be in 75 years.”