Washington, D.C. – Craig Richardson, president of the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, issued the following statement in response to a hearing today in the Southern District of New York and a request by several energy companies to dismiss a climate change related lawsuit filed against them by New York City.

Once again global elitists and their well-funded environmental front groups have taken to the courts in an effort to achieve from the courts what they failed to accomplish at the ballot box and through legitimate legislative discourse. This time, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and a group of fellow leftists mayors have filed lawsuits against prominent energy companies claiming these companies are solely responsible for global warming and climate change. They seek billions of dollars in damages to pay for projects – still undefined – they say are necessary to combat ‘climate change’ in the future.

These cases should be immediately dismissed as similar cases were by the U.S. Supreme Court during the Obama Administration. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote in a unanimous decision how climate change and global warming are not issues for local courts to decide and would open a floodgate of conflicting decisions for decades while making individual judges super EPAs.

New York is a haven for destructive legal activism. Previously, New York’s disgraced former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was the front man who recruited fellow activist attorneys general in a similar shakedown effort against Exxon. The courts saw through the smoke and mirrors, which our group discovered were funded by billionaire opportunist Tom Steyer and the Rockefeller Foundation. These groundless AG cases were either dismissed or quietly withdrawn.

The true motivation of these mayors and their attorneys is obviously money. Always has been and always will be. This is simply a cash grab for leftist financially strapped mayors who are looking to the courts to solve their financial problems through a multi-billion dollar shakedown scheme against deep pocket companies. And rest assured, it won’t be the energy companies who will pay out damages.  American consumers will be left to pick up the tab and it will hit those least able to pay the hardest. It’s also a huge windfall for attorneys representing the cities because they are hoping for huge payouts as well as environmental front groups who are blinded by visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.

If New York’s Southern District Court does not dismiss this case, we will likely see many more cash-hungry mayors looking for big city bailouts. It’s time to end this unethical manipulation of our judicial system and end this shakedown scheme once and for all.