Oil Companies Ask SCOTUS to Review Hawaii Supreme Court Decision Allowing Climate Change Suits to Proceed

by James Nault at legalinsurrection.com

Supreme Court asked to review case with the goal of applying federal, not state, law to climate change lawsuits.


You remember the Hawaii Supreme Court. They disallowed concealed firearms carry in Hawaii because of Hawaii’s “Spirit of Aloha,” despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen case, which said such carry is a fundamental right.

Well, they’re back. This time, the Hawaii Supreme Court has issued an opinion holding that state entities can sue oil companies in state court and that state, not federal, law governs.

The problem with the Hawaii Supreme Court’s holding should be obvious: one state could control damages to the oil companies for the whole country based solely on that state’s particular concerns, or every state could now sue the oil companies for climate change damages, and there could, as a result, be 51 (including D.C.) different results with 51 different damage levels (anywhere from $0 to billions of dollars). This, of course, is not to mention the astronomical attorneys’ fees likely to be generated on behalf of the oil companies in defending against these suits, fees that you will ultimately pay the energy consumer.