SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. judge who held a hearing about climate change that received widespread attention has thrown out the underlying lawsuits that sought to hold big oil companies liable for the role of fossil fuels in global warming.
Judge William Alsup said Monday that Congress and the president, not a federal judge, were best suited to address fossil fuels’ contribution.
Alsup’s ruling came in lawsuits brought by San Francisco and neighboring Oakland that claimed Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and Royal Dutch Shell knew that fossil fuels posed serious risks to the environment. The lawsuits sought to have the companies pay for sea walls and other infrastructure to protect against the effects of climate change.
The Oakland and San Francisco city attorneys’ offices did not immediately have comment.