by E&E Legal Craig Richardson
As appearing on Townhall.com
This week may well mark the last hurrah for both a rumored run for the presidency by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his high-profile lawsuit against five energy producers.
Last January, New York City joined several other municipalities in filing lawsuits against major energy companies BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, attempting to hold them solely responsible not only for damages alleged to have occurred due to climate change but for damages yet to happen. It would have been a sweet double play for de Blasio: A potentially huge damages award would backfill his fiscal mismanagement problems while making him the hero of a powerful national environmental base from which he could springboard into a 2020 quest for the White House.
Those dreams could all come to an end soon as lawyers debate over procedural matters in the next round of this baseless lawsuit. To date, none of the climate change lawsuits filed in a handful of cities have seen success. Skeptical judges across the country have mostly dismissed these lawsuits for what they are – shameless efforts to shakedown energy companies and for using the wrong venue to try to address a complex issue such as global climate change.