The roughly 30 lawsuits brought by cities, states, and tribes across the U.S. seeking to hold the oil and gas industry accountable are moving closer to trial as evidence of industry deception and the impacts of climate change have increased during years of delay, Grist reports. Oil and gas firms and their trade associations have repeatedly sought to move the state and municipal lawsuits to federal courts where they believe they will have a tactical advantage, but the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear cases brought by California cities and the state of Minnesota means those cases can proceed toward the discovery phase.

The potential for multiple states and suits to proceed to discovery is “really what the industry fears the most,” said Alyssa Johl of the Center for Climate Integrity. “They don’t want anyone digging through their archives and divulging their innermost thoughts and secrets.” The discovery process unearthed much of what the public learned about the tobacco industry’s coverup of the cancer-causing effects of smoking, and the oil and gas industry has drawn directly from Big Tobacco for lawyers, marketing inspiration and tactics to avoid perjury before Congress. “Last year was a really pivotal year in terms of getting past the industry’s big push and their delay tactics,” Johl said. “Now they have to face the music.” (Grist)