The Supreme Court will hear arguments today on the lawsuit brought by the city of Baltimore against 26 oil and gas companies for their role in causing climate change, and thus the extreme weather putting the city’s future at risk. Although Tuesday’s arguments are over a procedural matter – can localities sue fossil fuel majors in state court, as Baltimore has, or can the companies force the cases to be heard in federal court? – oil majors believe they have a better chance at prevailing in federal courts, where consideration is more likely to focus on greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, than in state courts, where the focus would be on the cost of damages to infrastructure and implementing mitigation measures.
The case – which has implications for 23 others pending before city, county, and state lawsuits – will be the last argued by the Trump administration before Biden is sworn in. Amy Coney Barrett will not recuse herself from the case even though her father worked for Shell. (Politico Pro $, Washington Examiner, InsideClimateNews, SCOTUSBlog; Barrett: HuffPost)