Statement of Chris Horner on Hearing in Southern District of New York on NYC "Climate" Lawsuit - Climate Litigation Watch

Statement of Chris Horner on Hearing in Southern District of New York on NYC “Climate” Lawsuit

June 13, 2018

The courts should rid themselves and the public of the climate litigation industry, which is pursuing multiple lawsuits against political opponents seeking billions in settlements in the name of climate change. They should begin by dismissing the lawsuits filed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his like-minded municipal leaders.

This abusive campaign entails using the courts, and even law enforcement to attack the energy industry; in at least one ill-advised abuse of office, one attorney general even subpoenaed a think tank for a decade of its records. Public records, both released and not yet released, make clear that this series of lawsuits are the result of a plan hatched in 2012, backed by wealthy ideologues and often running money to elected officials through cooperative non-profit — if handsomely rewarded — organizations. It is being conducted in concert with plaintiff lawyers who not only invented the campaign but were introduced to elected officials to pursue it.

These lawsuits claim that billions of dollars are needed to pay for measures to prevent present and future damage as a result of climate change. However, they have presented no evidence to indicate any such damage has taken place, and, the same municipalities that have filed suit in California somehow omitted these supposed damages when selling bonds to investors.

They have no place in the U.S. court system and are little more than thinly-veiled fundraisers for politicians seeking to remedy mismanagement, and pay for their various new spending programs. Recently, we now know, ‘purple’ states have been enticed to sign on with Governors Jerry Brown of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York to pursue the ‘climate’ political agenda on the promise of coastal ‘resiliency’ money.

Mayor de Blasio should be forced to look elsewhere to fund his agenda; if these lawsuits are successful, it would portend opening the floodgates to further such suits whenever politicians need some deep pockets to fund their pet projects.

This type of money grab should not be how we spend the U.S. court system’s time and other finite resources. The New York Southern District Court should do the right thing, save taxpayers further cost, and send a signal that this campaign will go no further.