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Dana Drugmand

Freelance Journalist

Dana is an environmental journalist focusing on climate change reporting. She writes regularly for DeSmog and Climate Liability News, covering clean transportation, fossil fuel industry opposition to climate action, and climate change lawsuits. In 2017 Dana completed a Master's degree in Environmental Law & Policy with a certificate in Climate Law from Vermont Law School. Prior to attending VLS she worked as a reporter at several weekly newspapers and as a freelance environmental journalist. She has also interned at the Worldwatch Institute, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Schumacher Center for a New Economics, Center for EcoTechnology, EcoLogic Development Fund, OurEarth.org, and YES! Magazine.

At a time when both the media and the environment are under attack by the Trump administration, and when the market for environmental journalism is dwindling, Dana is determined to use her sharp writing and reporting skills and her knowledge of environmental issues to defy "alternative facts" and keep the public informed. Topics of specialization include climate change, clean energy, and citizen activism.

Portfolio

Environmental Clips

New Internationalist
06/16/2020
How to stop progress

How to stop progress If we added together all the ways our transport is killing us it would show a global massacre, with one of the biggest perpetrators being the motor car. Over a million people are killed on the world's roads each year.

DeSmog
05/27/2020
California Leads Multi-State Lawsuit Against Trump Admins' Clean Car Rollback

A coalition of 23 states plus the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, challenging the Trump Administration's rollback of the Obama-era clean car standards. Those standards mandated stronger reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from new light-duty

DeSmog
05/20/2020
Exxon Sued Again for 'Misleading' Advertising

ExxonMobil is facing yet another lawsuit challenging the corporation's allegedly deceptive behavior related to climate change. The latest suit, filed May 15 in the D.C. Superior Court, claims the oil major is misleading consumers with "false and deceptive" advertising about its investments in "clean

DeSmog
05/06/2020
Colorado Plans to Eliminate Emissions from Road Transportation

Colorado is moving ahead with a plan to get nearly 1 million electric vehicles (EV) on its roads by 2030 and, for the first time, has adopted a long-term goal of transitioning to 100 percent electric and zero-emission vehicles.

DeSmog
05/01/2020
EPA Has Been Captured by Fossil Fuel Interests, Democratic Senators Tell Court

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump administration is run by fossil fuel allies determined to do polluters' bidding, U.S. senators are telling the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The group of Democratic senators calls out this extensive fossil fuel industry influence in a recent

DeSmog
04/27/2020
Report: Nearly Half of Americans Breathing Unhealthy Air

As the death toll from COVID-19 continues to rise in the U.S. - and as initial studies suggest that long-term exposure to air pollution may lead to higher death rates from the disease - a new report finds that nearly five in 10 Americans are breathing polluted air.

DeSmog
04/17/2020
Big Oil Foresaw Extreme Flooding Now Predicted to Hit US Coasts Almost Daily

Oil companies have long been aware that their products cause global warming and the impacts, including from rising seas, could be catastrophic. From a scientist who warned executives in 1959 that New York could be submerged, to a confidential 1988 Shell report that raised the possibility of

DeSmog
04/02/2020
Under Cover of Pandemic, Fossil Fuel Interests Unleash Lobbying Frenzy

Thousands of Americans are dying, millions have filed for unemployment, and frontline health care workers are risking their lives as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the U.S. In the midst of this crisis, the fossil fuel industry, particularly the oil and gas sector, has been actively seeking

DeSmog
03/31/2020
Trump Admin Weakens Clean Car Standards Despite Its Analyses Showing Rule Favors Big Oil Over...

The Trump administration today announced the final rule that rolls back Obama-era clean vehicle standards, a move that, according to the government's own analyses, is expected to benefit the oil industry and harm consumers, public health, and the climate. Experts also warn it will result in litigation and global market inconsistency to the detriment of automakers.

DeSmog
03/30/2020
$3 Billion 'Bailout' for Oil Producers Dropped From Economic Stimulus Package

Bucking President Trump's directive for buying oil to fill up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), Senate Democrats last week nixed what they say was a $3 billion bailout for oil producers from the coronavirus economic stimulus bill that passed the Senate on March 25. An earlier version of the $2

DeSmog
03/27/2020
Yet Another Study Confirms: Electric Cars Reduce Climate Pollution

Electric cars are better for the climate than gas-powered vehicles in nearly every part of the world. That's the clear, unequivocal finding of the first study that conducted a global examination of the current and future greenhouse gas emissions of electric vehicles (EVs) and gas-powered cars. This

DeSmog
03/19/2020
Shell's Latest Annual Report: More Greenwashing?

Two years after internal documents surfaced showing that Royal Dutch Shell, like ExxonMobil, knew about climate dangers decades ago, the oil giant released its latest annual report outlining its business strategy and approach to addressing climate change. Despite clear warnings from scientists,

DeSmog
03/09/2020
'Fossil Fuel Companies Knew': Honolulu Files Lawsuit Over Climate Impacts

Hawaii has officially joined the fight to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the climate crisis. On Monday the City of Honolulu filed a lawsuit against 10 oil and gas companies, seeking monetary damages to help pay for costs associated with climate impacts like sea level rise and flooding.

Drilled News
03/06/2020
Baltimore Climate Liability Suit Will Proceed in State Court

The city of Baltimore is one step closer to holding fossil fuel companies liable for localized climate impacts. A federal appeals court on Friday ruled that the case will proceed in Maryland state court, rejecting the companies' appeal to move the suit to federal court.

DeSmog
02/09/2020
Report Attacks Industry Campaign to Fix Natural Gas's Climate PR Problem

A new report from advocacy group Food and Water Watch argues that fracking and continued reliance on natural gas is detrimental to addressing climate change. The report, which calls out the fossil fuel industry's misleading narratives around natural gas, comes at a time when progressive members of

Drilled News
02/07/2020
Exxon Downplays Climate Risk to Oil and Gas in New Report

Climate change is not a crisis, according to ExxonMobil's latest climate risk report to shareholders and the public. Despite ongoing record-setting global temperatures, wildfires, and other impacts, the oil and gas giant contends that growing climate instability does not rule out continued production of fossil fuels.

Climate Liability News
01/29/2020
Exxon, Chevron, Chase reject shareholder requests to address climate risk

ExxonMobil has dismissed a shareholder proposal calling for the company to disclose how it plans to align its business with Paris Agreement climate targets, calling it "materially false and misleading." Other companies with significant stakes in fossil fuels are also resisting similar requests from shareholders to take responsibility for their contributions to climate change.

Climate Liability News
01/27/2020
Local authorities, activist groups sue French oil giant Total to cut emissions

Updated, Jan. 30-The French petroleum company Total is facing a new climate lawsuit by several environmental groups and 14 local governments seeking to force the company to reduce emissions to protect French citizens. The groups served an official court summons on Total on Tuesday in a court near Paris.

DeSmog
01/26/2020
Groups Funded by Oil Industry Bash Plan to Reduce Northeast's Dependence on Oil

Last month New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced the state would not be participating in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a regional cap-and-trade program aimed at reducing carbon emissions from vehicles. The program is still in early stages of development, but groups tied

Climate Liability News
01/21/2020
Youth lawsuit challenges Germany's newest climate law

A group of young people in Germany are suing the German government over climate policy they say fails to protect their fundamental rights. The lawsuit, filed last week by nine plaintiffs between the ages of 15 and 32, asks the Federal Constitutional Court to review Germany's new climate protection law passed in November.

Climate Liability News
01/15/2020
Indonesia flood victims launch lawsuit vs. government for damages

Victims of disastrous flooding in and around Indonesia's capital of Jakarta, the result of torrential downpours that killed more than 60 people and displaced more than 175,000 earlier this month, launched a class action lawsuit Monday against the Jakarta government.

DeSmog
01/10/2020
Fossil Fuel Interests Applaud Trump Admin's Weakening of Major Environmental Law

Industry groups including oil and gas trade associations were quick to pile on the praise following President Trump's announcement Thursday, January 9 of major overhauls to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The 50-year-old bedrock environmental statute requires federal agencies to review

Climate Liability News
01/09/2020
NOAA: Billion-dollar disasters doubled last decade as climate costs soar

The last decade was the warmest on record and also the costliest, with more than twice the number of billion-dollar extreme weather events in the U.S. as the previous decade. There were 119 disasters from 2010-19 that topped $1 billion in damages, compared to 59 of them from 2000-09, according to new data released by NOAA.

DeSmog
01/09/2020
Louisiana Landowners Appeal Bayou Bridge Pipeline's Right to Seize Their Land After Trespassing

A Louisiana appeals court heard oral arguments Wednesday, January 8 in a case brought by Louisiana landowners against the Bayou Bridge Pipeline Company that illegally trespassed and began pipeline construction without landowners' consent. Attorneys for the landowners are asking the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court decision granting the pipeline company's eminent domain right to seize the land.

Climate Liability News
01/06/2020
Growing group of states back Rhode Island's climate suit vs. Big Oil

More than a dozen states filed an amicus brief on Friday supporting Rhode Island's climate lawsuit against fossil fuel companies. The coalition of states supporting Rhode Island's case is the largest yet, with Maine, Delaware, and Hawaii weighing in for the first time on litigation seeking to hold Big Oil accountable for climate change impacts.

DeSmog
A Look Back at Some of DeSmog's Major Investigations of 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, DeSmog is reflecting on another year that featured high-impact investigations and accountability reporting by our team of journalists about the reckless fossil fuel industry. From new revelations regarding dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure, to new documents shedding

Climate Liability News
12/23/2019
Oil companies acknowledge climate litigation could impact their bottom line

Fossil fuel companies facing climate-related litigation are starting to acknowledge in their financial disclosure forms that these legal challenges could harm their business. Dozens of companies have been named in more than a dozen climate liability lawsuits filed by communities across the country.

DeSmog
Trump's Christmas Gift to Big Oil: Killing Hopes of Electric Car Tax Credit Extension

The oil industry, a staunch opponent of electric vehicles (EVs), received an early Christmas present from the White House as President Trump reportedly intervened to quash an EV tax credit expansion from inclusion in a government spending package. The tax credit is meant to help offset the upfront cost of electric vehicles and boost the EV market.

DeSmog
Public Comments Reveal Big Oil and Koch-backed Opposition to Minnesota's Clean Car Standards

As Minnesota begins the rulemaking process to adopt a pair of clean car standards, citizens and organizations weighed in with their comments and concerns, through an official Request for Comments portal. A DeSmog analysis found that a majority of the hundreds of comments received were supportive of the initiative, which aims to reduce the state's transportation-sector emissions.

Climate Liability News
12/12/2019
Fourth Circuit to rule on whether Baltimore climate case stays in state court

Fossil fuel companies facing a climate liability lawsuit brought by Baltimore argued in court on Wednesday that the case involves federal regulatory powers and should not proceed in state court. The lawsuit, which seeks monetary damages to help pay for climate impacts, was originally filed in Maryland state court last year.

Climate Liability News
12/11/2019
Exxon, Suncor argue for dismissal of Colorado climate suit

Oil companies ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy are asking a Colorado court to dismiss a climate lawsuit filed against them last year by the counties of Boulder and San Miguel and the city of Boulder. The companies filed a motion to dismiss the case late Monday in Boulder County District Court, where the case was initially filed in April 2018.

DeSmog
12/10/2019
Since Paris Agreement, Global Financial Firms Have Sunk $745 Billion into New Coal Plant Development

BlackRock, Vanguard, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase are among the top global financers of new coal development, according to new research presented during the United Nations climate summit in Madrid. That research, published by the German NGO Urgewald along with BankTrack and 30 partner organizations, reveals and ranks the financial institutions sinking money into the dirtiest form of fossil fuels in the three years since the Paris Agreement was signed.

Climate Liability News
12/05/2019
BP Accused of 'Greenwashing' and Deceiving Public With Renewable Energy Ads - Climate Liability News

print By Dana Drugmand An environmental law organization has launched a first-of-its-kind complaint against British Petroleum over the company's latest advertising, claiming it is misleading to consumers. ClientEarth submitted its complaint Wednesday to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which governs responsible business conduct for multinational enterprises.

Climate Liability News
11/27/2019
Kids file climate lawsuit vs. Ontario for backsliding on emissions cuts

A group of young Canadians have filed a climate lawsuit against the province of Ontario, claiming that the government's rollback of climate policies under Ontario Premier Doug Ford violates their fundamental rights. The new lawsuit, Mathur et. al. v. Her Majesty in Right of Ontario, challenges the weakening of Ontario's 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

Climate Liability News
11/22/2019
Irish climate case appealed to the country's Supreme Court

An environmental organization suing the Irish government to challenge the country's climate policy has appealed the dismissal of its case, and is taking that appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. The Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) appealed on Friday to the Court of Appeal.

Climate Liability News
11/21/2019
Governments' fossil fuel policies may leave them open to climate liability

If countries produce all the fossil fuels they currently have planned, the world has no chance of limiting global warming to the 2 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, a new report finds. That conclusion could bolster the cases being pursued around the world to hold governments accountable for their policies' impact on the climate.

Climate Liability News
11/20/2019
Oil companies argue Colorado climate suit should return to federal court

The oil companies fighting a climate liability lawsuit from several Colorado communities are asking a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling sending the case to state court. ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy filed a brief outlining their argument for federal jurisdiction to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.

Climate Liability News
11/14/2019
Norway: We are not responsible for climate impacts of the oil we drill

In arguing against a lawsuit pushing for the invalidation of its oil leases in the Arctic, the Norwegian government defended the continued oil exploration, saying it is not responsible for the emissions created when that oil is burned elsewhere.

DeSmog
11/12/2019
Koch Industries Ramps Up Lobbying Against Clean Car Policies

Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the United States, has significantly increased its lobbying spending this year, including efforts to influence policy on key climate and transportation issues and legislation. Mandatory disclosure forms reveal that lobbying by Koch Industries is up by almost 20 percent compared to this time last year.

Climate Liability News
11/12/2019
Warren calls for companies to be held liable for perjury, cites Exxon

Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren called for companies that deliberately mislead federal regulators to be prosecuted under a new corporate perjury law, according to a plan she released Tuesday, using Exxon as an example. Warren's "Fighting Corporate Perjury" plan would allow corporate officers to be held criminally liable for providing false or misleading information, including by using industry-funded studies, to regulatory agencies.

Climate Liability News
11/06/2019
Honolulu will file next climate liability suit vs. oil industry

Honolulu will join the growing wave of U.S. municipalities that have filed climate liability suits against fossil fuel companies. Mayor Kirk Caldwell said on Tuesday he intends to file suit against BP, Chevron, Shell, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, the BHP Group, Marathon and Aloha Petroleum to hold them accountable for climate impacts to the city.

Climate Liability News
11/02/2019
Research: Oil companies must slash production to curtail global warming

As oil and gas companies continue to expand petroleum production despite increasingly dire climate warnings, new research shows these companies must slash output by more than a third over the next 20 years if the world is to meet its target to limit global warming under the Paris Agreement.

Climate Liability News
11/01/2019
German climate case dismissed, but court recognizes right to safe climate

A German court has dismissed a climate lawsuit against the German government by three farming families and Greenpeace Germany. The Berlin Administrative Court ruled Thursday that the plaintiffs' fundamental rights had not yet been violated by the government's failure to meet its 2020 emission reduction target, as the complaint alleged.

Climate Liability News
10/26/2019
Kids sue Canadian government for exacerbating climate change

A group of young Canadians is suing the federal government over climate change, an action that is part of a burgeoning global youth movement demanding climate justice through the courts. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 15 young people aged 10-19, mirrors the claims and demands of the landmark American youth climate case Juliana v.

Climate Liability News
10/24/2019
Massachusetts becomes second state to sue Exxon for climate fraud

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey sued ExxonMobil on Thursday in the first state lawsuit alleging both consumer and investor fraud over climate risks. Healey said that while Exxon has long known its products drive climate destabilization, the world's largest publicly traded oil and gas company has misled consumers with deceptive advertising and failed to disclose climate-related risks to its investors.

Climate Liability News
10/23/2019
Supreme Court rules against Big Oil, refuses to halt three climate cases

The U.S. Supreme Court denied applications by fossil fuel companies to halt three climate liability lawsuits against them. The court's order allows the cases filed by Baltimore, Rhode Island and three Colorado communities to proceed in state court while the companies pursue appeals to move the cases to federal court.

Climate Liability News
10/10/2019
Alaska court considers appeal of kids climate case vs. state

Young Alaskans who are suing their state government over climate change harms had their appeal heard on Wednesday in the state's highest court, which will decide whether to allow the case to proceed to trial. The 16 young plaintiffs are alleging the state violated their rights under Alaska's constitution by promoting fossil fuel development despite knowing it drove climate change.

Climate Liability News
10/10/2019
New lawsuit challenges fossil fuel leasing in Colorado over climate impacts

Three environmental conservation groups sued the Trump administration on Tuesday for failing to account for the climate impacts of planned oil and gas extraction on public lands in western Colorado. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado by the Center for Biological Diversity, Wilderness Workshop, and the Wilderness Society.

Climate Liability News
10/07/2019
Constitutional law expert will advice Canadian cities on climate cases

As Canadian communities continue to lay the groundwork for liability cases against fossil fuel companies, one of the country's leading constitutional and public law attorneys announced he would be offering a legal opinion to the communities free of charge. That announcement by Joseph Arvay of the firm Arvay Finlay came during the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention.

DeSmog
10/03/2019
Big Oil Pushes Back Against Minnesota Clean Car Announcement

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced last week that the state would be adopting a pair of clean car standards following California's lead, even as the Trump administration tries to revoke California's authority to set stricter standards under federal law. But Minnesota's move is already prompting

Climate Liability News
09/26/2019
Lawsuit challenges Poland coal plant, demands reduced emissions

A groundbreaking new lawsuit challenging a Polish coal plant-the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide in Europe-was launched Thursday by the environmental law organization ClientEarth. The suit is the first seeking to hold a coal plant operator liable for environmental and climate harm under a Polish law that designates the environment as a "common good."

Climate Liability News
09/25/2019
Norway must curtail oil production to fight climate change, UN expert says

Ahead of a November court hearing in a lawsuit challenging the Norwegian government's approval of offshore oil drilling, a UN human rights official is calling on Norway to cease new oil exploration and to "accept substantial responsibility" for addressing the climate crisis.

Climate Liability News
09/19/2019
Human Rights Leaders Unveil New Climate Declaration

By Dana Drugmand International human rights leaders will deliver a new declaration on climate, rights and human survival to world leaders when they assemble this weekend for the United Nations climate action summit in New York and say they will hold governments and corporations most responsible for the climate crisis accountable through litigation and other actions.

Climate Liability News
09/13/2019
Court advisors urge Dutch Supreme Court to uphold historic climate verdict

Two independent judicial officials in the Netherlands have advised the Dutch Supreme Court to uphold a groundbreaking ruling in the case Urgenda v. The Netherlands that requires the government to more aggressively cut the country's emissions. The formal opinion, issued Friday, came from the Advocate General and Procurator General, independent positions inside the country's judiciary system.

Climate Liability News
09/12/2019
As Big Oil digs for more despite climate risks, investor lawsuits may grow

With the oil industry continuing to invest heavily in projects all but assured to lose money as the world moves toward a lower-carbon economy, as a study published last week shows, investors may increasingly turn to shareholder lawsuits to protect their investments.

Climate Liability News
09/05/2019
Kamala Harris: Oil industry should be held accountable for climate crisis

Sen. Kamala Harris became the latest Democratic presidential candidate to include holding the fossil fuel industry accountable for climate change among her policies to tackle the issue if she is elected. During a televised town hall event Wednesday night, Harris, a former prosecutor and attorney general of California, said she would work to hold the industry liable for the damage it has caused to the climate.

Yes! Magazine
09/01/2019
Could Rights of Nature Laws Help Save Endangered Orcas? - Yes! Magazine

The Pacific Northwest's most iconic species-the orcas that live in the Salish Sea year-round-are on the brink of extinction with just 73 whales remaining as of July 1. The Southern Resident orcas have made headlines repeatedly over the past year, including the recent loss of three adult whales and last summer's widely reported story of a female who carried her dead calf for more than two weeks and over 1,000 miles.

Climate Liability News
08/28/2019
Attorneys general say revised federal policy ignores climate change

A coalition of 19 attorneys general is pushing back against what they say is an attempt by the Trump administration to disregard climate change impacts when conducting environmental reviews as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. The attorneys general filed a comment letter on Tuesday opposing the Council on Environmental Quality's draft guidance regarding greenhouse gas emissions, which was issued in June.

Climate Liability News
08/23/2019
Sanders' climate plan includes holding fossil fuel Industry accountable

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released his plan for tackling the climate crisis on Thursday, and it includes perhaps the strongest call yet for holding fossil fuel companies accountable for climate change--including pursuing criminal liability. "Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused," Sanders said via Twitter.

Climate Liability News
08/19/2019
Australian leader mocks Pacific Islands' pleas for climate action

As a tense meeting of countries in the Pacific region concluded last week with Australia forcing a watered-down statement climate change, Australia's deputy prime minister further demonstrated the government's disregard for Pacific islands' pleas for urgent climate action to ensure their survival.

Climate Liability News
08/01/2019
New carbon bills won't let oil companies off the hook for climate costs

Members of Congress recently introduced three new carbon pricing bills aimed at curbing planet-warming emissions. While the bills vary in their policy details, none explicitly absolve the fossil fuel industry of potential tort liability in climate lawsuits brought by municipalities, unlike another recent plan supported by the fossil fuel industry.

Climate Liability News
07/25/2019
Residents say California wildfire liability law is unconstitutional

California rapidly passed a new law earlier this month that aims to strike a balance between guarding the state's investor-owned utilities against insurmountable liability costs from wildfires while also protecting fire victims and ratepayers from skyrocketing costs.

Climate Liability News
07/16/2019
Canadian judge halts youth climate lawsuit in Quebec

A Canadian judge halted a climate lawsuit filed by a group of young people in Quebec against the Canadian government, rejecting its class action status in a ruling last week. The lawsuit was brought by the organization ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU) on behalf of people age 35 and under in Quebec.

Climate Liability News
07/12/2019
EU families appeal 'People's Climate Case' dismissal

The 10 families and one Swedish youth association that brought a lawsuit challenging the European Union's 2030 climate target have appealed their case to the European Court of Justice. The People's Climate Case was dismissed in May by the European General Court, which based its decision on a narrow interpretation of the planitiffs' standing.

Climate Liability News
07/09/2019
Human rights and climate crisis are twin issues, gain a global summit

Climate justice and human rights advocates are convening the first global summit on human rights and climate change this September, hoping to kick-start an escalation in the international human rights community's response to the climate crisis.

Climate Liability News
07/08/2019
Climate litigation becomes a global trend, new report shows

Climate change-related lawsuits, once mostly limited to the U.S., have now been filed in nearly 30 countries, targeting governments and corporate polluters, according to the latest analysis of the trend. A new report was published last week by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.

Climate Liability News
06/24/2019
Jay Inslee climate plan includes prosecuting fossil fuel producers

Democratic presidential candidate and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled a plan to directly challenge the fossil fuel industry, including holding polluters legally accountable and extending federal support to climate liability lawsuits against fossil fuel producers. "This industry has known about this for decades and has lied to the American people about it.

Climate Liability News
06/20/2019
Marin County resolution: Big Oil should not be immune from climate liability

Marin County, Calif., is working to rally opposition to a carbon tax proposal that would also grant legal immunity to fossil fuel companies facing climate liability lawsuits-just like the one Marin and more than a dozen other communities have filed to hold those companies accountable for the costs of climate damages.

Climate Liability News
06/17/2019
Mayors: Cities should not be left alone to foot the bill for climate costs

A group of mayors will propose a resolution that seeks to protect cities from shouldering the burden of climate adaptation costs at an upcoming meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The resolution also asks the group to oppose attempts to shield fossil fuel companies from climate liability lawsuits, alluding to a carbon tax proposal that would give legal immunity to the industry.

Climate Liability News
06/07/2019
Climate lawsuit aims to stop federal fossil fuel leases in New Mexico

Following a federal court ruling that invalidated government oil and gas leasing in Wyoming on climate change grounds in March, a new lawsuit filed earlier this week seeks to overturn petroleum leasing on public land in New Mexico due to climate impacts. WildEarth Guardians sued the Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Monday in U.S.

Climate Liability News
06/03/2019
La. lawsuit vs. oil industry wins jurisdictional tug-of-war, sent to state court

A federal court decided last week to send a lawsuit filed by a Louisiana parish against oil and gas companies back to state court, the kind of jurisdictional battle also facing cities and counties across the country who have filed climate liability suits against some of the same companies.

Climate Liability News
05/13/2019
Has Australia violated human rights by failing to address climate change?

A group of indigenous Australians have brought a legal complaint against the Australian government for violating their human rights by contributing to climate change. The complaint, filed by indigenous people from the Torres Strait Islands to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, alleges the government's inadequate response to the climate crisis is a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the world's oldest human rights treaty.

Climate Liability News
05/08/2019
Chamber of Commerce: governments should squelch municipal climate suits

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which historically has worked to block climate policy and undermine international action, has proposed sweeping new rules to help fossil fuel companies fend off liability lawsuits seeking to hold them accountable for costly climate impacts.

Climate Liability News
05/07/2019
Exxon sued by another shareholder for misleading investors about climate

An ExxonMobil shareholder has filed a lawsuit against the oil giant and some of its executives alleging they misled investors by understating how much risk climate change poses to the company's assets. Sarah Von Colditz filed the suit Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Climate Liability News
04/24/2019
Exxon fights class action suit from investors in federal court

ExxonMobil, currently a defendant in multiple climate change liability lawsuits and one for alleged securities fraud over its climate risk disclosures, has asked a federal judge in Texas to deny class certification in a class action suit brought by investors against the company. That suit, Ramirez v.

Climate Liability News
04/19/2019
New York City moves to tackle emissions as it wrestles with climate costs

New York City, which is attempting to force fossil fuel companies to pay for climate change adaptation costs through a lawsuit, has passed groundbreaking legislation addressing its own greenhouse gas emissions. The New York City Council voted 45-2 on Thursday in favor of a suite of bills aimed at cutting carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency and advancing clean energy.

Climate Liability News
04/18/2019
New Colorado law requires state to consider health impacts of drilling

Colorado has passed a law requiring state regulators to prioritize public health and the environment in regulating oil and gas operations, drawing sharp criticism from the fossil fuel industry and praise from a group of young people who had unsuccessfully sued the state trying to force those regulations. Gov.

Climate Liability News
04/09/2019
Exxon Cannot Avoid Votes on Climate Change, Dark Money Contributions

Exxon cannot block its shareholders from voting on two new shareholder proposals, one calling on the oil giant to create a new board committee to address climate change and the other calling on the company to more fully disclose political contributions to tax-exempt organizations, including trade associations and other 501(c)(4) or "dark money" organizations.

Climate Liability News
04/03/2019
Shell to cut ties with American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

Royal Dutch Shell is cutting ties with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers over the group's stance on climate change. The decision came in response to demands by institutional investors for Shell to improve transparency on how its trade association membership aligns with its climate change positions.

Climate Liability News
04/02/2019
Efforts to hold governments accountable grow as climate impacts worsen

The impacts of climate change are accelerating, and human rights organizations are increasingly urging governments across the globe to uphold their human rights obligations by taking meaningful steps to curb climate change, according to a pair of recently released reports. This could spur an increase in climate change-related litigation.

Climate Liability News
03/28/2019
San Franscisco, Oakland receive wide support in climate suit

Support piled in last week for the liability suits filed by San Francisco and Oakland against five oil companies, including friend-of-the-court briefs from six Democratic senators, several government associations as well as former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy.

Climate Liability News
03/21/2019
Democratic state AGs rally behind San Francisco, Oakland climate suits

A group of 10 states and the District of Columbia filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday in support of San Francisco and Oakland's climate liability lawsuits against fossil fuel companies, arguing the cases belong in state court and that courts should play a role in forcing accountability for climate change.

Climate Liability News
03/20/2019
Big banks can block shareholder climate proposals, SEC rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently allowed two large banks to block a shareholder proposal addressing the climate impact of the banks' investment portfolios. The proposal requested that Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo reduce the carbon footprint of their loan and investment portfolios to align with the Paris Climate Agreement's goal of holding global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Climate Liability News
03/15/2019
N.H. town passes law recognizing right to a healthy climate

The town of Exeter, N.H. passed an ordinance recognizing the right to a healthy climate, the second ordinance of its kind to be passed in the U.S,. The law, dubbed the Right to Healthy Climate Ordinance, recognizes the "right to a healthy climate system capable of sustaining human societies."

Climate Liability News
03/14/2019
Exxon must face suit over climate risks to Mass. facility, judge rules

A federal judge denied ExxonMobil's motion to dismiss multiple climate change-related claims brought by Conservation Law Foundation. The foundation's lawsuit, filed in 2016, alleges that Exxon violated the permit requirements for its oil storage terminal in Everett, Mass. by failing to consider the risk of imminent extreme weather events like flooding and storm surge.

Climate Liability News
03/06/2019
Democratic AGs vow to continue to fight Trump's climate rollbacks

Following the release of a new report that warns of the dire consequences of the Trump administration's rollback of environmental protections, four Democratic state attorneys general vowed to continue fighting those rollbacks in court. The AGs of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut spoke on Tuesday about their states' commitment to protecting the climate and the health of their citizens.

Climate Liability News
03/04/2019
More than a dozen groups file briefs supporting kids climate suit

More than a dozen groups filed friend-of-the-court briefs to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the landmark youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States . The wide support came from businesses, members of Congress, environmental groups and environmental law organizations, environmental historians, law professors and international lawyers, the libertarian think tank Niskanen Center, public health experts, and religious and women's groups.

Climate Liability News
02/27/2019
House hearing on climate denial fizzles, but testimony shows its damage

A Congressional hearing on how corporations have manipulated science and peddled denial campaigns to the public ended before it began on Tuesday when the Republican committee chair moved to adjourn the session and not enough supportive Democrats were in attendance to defeat the motion. Rep.

Climate Liability News
02/22/2019
Coal company bows to investor pressure on climate, vows to curtail mining

One of the world's largest mining and natural resource companies announced it will limit coal production to reduce carbon emissions in response to investors who pushed the company to commit to a transition to a low-carbon economy. Glencore, a multinational mining company based in Switzerland, announced its plans after discussions with ...

Climate Liability News
02/21/2019
Judge tosses Penn. case, challenges legal merit of kids climate cases

A federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a climate lawsuit brought by an environmental organization and two children against the federal government. The lawsuit, Clean Air Council v. United States , claimed that Trump administration rollbacks of environmental regulations and other "anti-science" decisions violate Constitutional rights and the public trust.

Climate Liability News
02/20/2019
Youth climate movement gains steam, rallies behind landmark U.S. case

As students stage school walkouts in Europe to demand action on climate change-including more than 10,000 joining one strike in Great Britain last Friday-thousands of kids in the U.S. have signed a petition to support the 21 young people suing the federal government over climate change.

Climate Liability News
02/11/2019
Oil companies fighting NYC climate suit ignore liability issue

The five oil and gas companies sued by New York City last year over climate change-related damages doubled down on their argument that courts should not be in the business of regulating global warming. They argued their case anew in a brief they filed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals last week.

Climate Liability News
02/07/2019
Rhode Island argues to keep its climate suit in state court

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The latest installment in the debate over whether climate liability suits should be heard in federal or state court took place Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island. The hearing dealt with a motion to remand to state court a case filed last July by Rhode Island against 21 oil and gas companies seeking damages from climate change-related impacts.

Climate Liability News
02/06/2019
Ninth Circuit nominee has history of defending Big Oil in liabiilty cases

An attorney who has defended the oil industry in high-profile climate and environmental cases, including the current crop of climate liability lawsuits, has been nominated by President Trump to fill a vacancy on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Daniel P.

Climate Liability News
01/31/2019
States, organizations, scientists urge keeping climate suits in state court

Eight briefs were filed on Wednesday in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the California communities trying to keep their climate liability lawsuits against fossil fuel companies in state court. The friend-of-the-court briefs came from government groups, two advocacy organizations, prominent climate scientists, academics who study climate deception and U.S.

Climate Liability News
01/09/2019
Staggering wildfire costs could sink California's largest utility

Facing billions of dollars in damage costs and numerous lawsuits for its role in sparking devastating wildfires in northern California, the state's largest utility is now exploring options to avoid financial ruin, including a possible bankruptcy filing . But while Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Climate Liability News
01/03/2019
Climate costs of 2018: Top 10 disasters cost $85 billion

With 2018 having just drawn to a close, some organizations have begun to tally the staggering climate-related costs of a year featuring severe drought, heat, fires, floods and storms around the world. Ten of the biggest disasters cost at least in total damages, according to a recent report by the United Kingdom-based organization Christian Aid.

Climate Liability News
12/31/2018
2018 in climate liability: When a trend became a wave

Climate liability lawsuits exploded onto the world stage in 2018-a year that began with New York City suing five oil majors and ended with France facing a potential lawsuit for failing to make climate progress and the European Parliament announcing a probe into ExxonMobil's decades-long climate misinformation campaign.

Climate Liability News
12/20/2018
France, home of the Paris Agreement, sued for lack of climate progress

Amid increasingly urgent warnings that the world is nowhere close to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, several nonprofit organizations initiated legal action this week against France, the nation that hosted the climate negotiations that produced the landmark agreement in 2015.

Climate Liability News
12/06/2018
Miami aims to protect low-income residents from climate displacement

As Miami struggles to plan for the impact of rising seas, its City Commission has taken the unusually forward-looking step of trying to protect low-income residents from being forced out of their higher-elevation neighborhoods by wealthier people fleeing their coastal properties.

Climate Liability News
11/27/2018
Latest youth-led climate lawsuit launched against Canada

Canada is likely to be the next national government to face a climate lawsuit launched by young people. ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU), a Quebec-based environmental education group, on Monday that it had applied for authorization for the class action suit.

Climate Liability News
11/26/2018
Vanuatu, tiny Pacific island, could file first national climate suit

Officials in the South Pacific island of Vanuatu said they are considering suing fossil fuel companies and nations that support the industry for their role in climate change, which presents an existential threat to low-lying nations. If Vanuatu does sue, it would be the first climate liability lawsuit by a national government.

Climate Liability News
11/15/2018
Commercial fishermen latest to sue oil companies for climate impacts

A group of commercial fishermen are joining the legal fight against the fossil fuel industry for its role in climate change. A new lawsuit by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations ( ), the West Coast's largest commercial fishing association, was filed on Wednesday in California state court.

Climate Liability News
11/15/2018
As wildfires rage, California faces the next reckoning: Costs

As major wildfires once again rage across California, fueled by extended drought and a warming climate, the immediate danger to life and property are almost certain to be followed by financial crises facing homeowners, insurers and even the state's utilities as the costs skyrocket.

Climate Liability News
11/13/2018
Why a Supreme Court ruling on lead paint could impact climate cases

On the surface, a liability verdict involving lead paint poisoning might not seem like it has much to do with climate change, but a recent Supreme Court decision has legal experts drawing some important parallels. When the California Supreme Court refused to take up the companies' appeal , in February, the companies appealed to the U.S.

DeSmogBlog
11/09/2018
Koch Industries Lobbies Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

Koch Industries is calling for the elimination of tax credits for electric vehicles (EVs), all while claiming that it does not oppose plug-in cars and inviting the elimination of oil and gas subsidies that the petroleum conglomerate and its industry peers receive.

Climate Liability News
11/09/2018
Judge agrees to divest from Exxon before New York climate fraud case

A New York judge agreed to sell his stock in ExxonMobil to resolve a potential conflict of interest flagged by the New York attorney general's office after it filed its lawsuit alleging the oil giant misled investors over climate change risk.

Climate Liability News
11/08/2018
Big Oil wins big on election day, defeating carbon fee, fracking restrictions

The fossil fuel industry succeeded on several fronts in Tuesday's midterm elections: working to defeat two major ballot measures it opposed in Washington and Colorado and keeping a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, which controls judicial appointments that will be steering the climate liability suits the industry is facing.

Climate Liability News
11/01/2018
Alaska judge dismisses youth climate suit vs. state government

A judge in Alaska has dismissed a youth-led climate change case against the state's government. The lawsuit alleged that the state's pro-fossil fuel energy policy exacerbates climate change and violates the young plaintiffs' constitutional rights.

Climate Liability News
10/29/2018
German government faces lawsuit over its failure to meet climate goals

Three families in Germany are suing their government hoping to compel it to cut carbon emissions as it has promised, joining a growing trend of citizens worldwide taking legal action against national governments over insufficient climate policies. Greenpeace Germany filed the lawsuit last week on the families' behalf.

Climate Liability News
10/25/2018
French communities demand climate action from oil giant Total

The French cities and organizations challenging Total say that its vigilance plan is inadequate and does not meet the legal requirements. In the letter, they write that Total's plan "does not reflect the reality of the impacts of your activities and the risks of serious damage to the climate system that they induce."

Climate Liability News
10/19/2018
Trump administration again asks Supreme Court to stop kids climate case

The federal government is asking the Supreme Court once again to intervene and halt proceedings in the youth climate change lawsuit Juliana v. United States . The landmark case is set to go to trial at the federal district court in Eugene, Ore., in less than two weeks.

Climate Liability News
09/27/2018
Courts will play key role in addressing climate crisis, experts say

NEW YORK-A worldwide movement seeking relief and accountability for the impacts of human-driven climate change through the courts has taken flight over the past year, and while none of the experts who spoke about the issue on on two panels in New York City said it would solve the climate crisis on ...

Climate Liability News
09/04/2018
California climate assessment begins tallying huge costs ahead

When California released its Fourth Climate Change Assessment last week, it contained an alarming, comprehensive list of impacts the state will absorb, including rising temperatures, more severe drought and wildfires, declining snowpack, more heavy precipitation, rising sea levels and perhaps most alarming: up to two-thirds of Southern California beaches are at risk of complete erosion by 2100 without large-scale human intervention.

Climate Liability News
08/28/2018
Hawaii begins to tally costs, contemplate a future of extreme rain

As Hawaii begins to clean up and assess the damage from Hurricane Lane, which dumped more than 40 inches of rain on the islands to become one of the wettest storms in U.S. history , the state is wrestling with what may be its new, wetter reality.

DeSmogBlog
08/20/2018
A Koch-Fueled Attack on Electric Buses Picks up Speed

Electric buses are replacing existing diesel-fueled fleets at an accelerating rate, and the transition to battery-powered buses is outpacing even the most optimistic projections. In this light, it should come as little surprise that commentators and organizations with ties to the Koch network and

Climate Liability News
08/15/2018
Climate case gets green light from European Union court

By Dana Drugmand A lawsuit dubbed the People's Climate Case, which challenges the European Union's 2030 emissions reduction target and other climate policies, was given the green light by a court on Monday and is moving forward. The European General Court accepted the case brought by 10 families from Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Romania, Kenya and Fiji and a youth association in Sweden.

Climate Liability News
08/09/2018
Costs of extreme heat are huge, but hard to quantify

Understanding those costs, however, is crucial for cities and states trying to protect their residents from climate impacts. They are working to calculate the toll of extreme heat, from decreasing outdoor worker productivity, to crop failures, cancelled flights and students' decreasing ability to learn.

Climate Liability News
08/02/2018
Despite two dismissals, climate liability lawsuits only just getting started

When two federal judges dismissed climate liability lawsuits by San Francisco, Oakland and New York City, it wasn't the end of the road for those suits or others of their kind. But it did highlight the importance to the cities of having these kinds of cases tried in state court.

Climate Liability News
07/30/2018
Supreme Court refuses to halt kids climate case

The Supreme Court the federal government's request to halt discovery and the trial in the youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States . The court's rejection on Monday of the defendants' application for a stay means the case will likely proceed to trial as scheduled in U.S.

Climate Liability News
07/20/2018
New York City climate suit dismissed by federal judge

A federal judge ruled in favor of five major oil companies on Thursday, dismissing New York City's climate liability lawsuit against them. U.S. District Judge John Keenan's ruling marks the second major victory for the fossil fuel companies fighting these climate suits in federal court.

Climate Liability News
07/19/2018
Federal judge to rule on latest government challenge to youth climate suit

A federal judge heard arguments on Wednesday from Department of Justice attorneys on their latest motions to sidetrack the youth-led climate change lawsuit Juliana v. United States . U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken listened to oral arguments and said she would rule promptly on two motions to dismiss considered at the hearing.

Climate Liability News
07/18/2018
Trump administration asks Supreme Court to halt kids climate case

The federal government has asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the landmark youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States that is scheduled for trial in October. The Department of Justice filed an application Tuesday seeking to halt discovery and trial, including an administrative stay on proceedings.

Climate Liability News
06/29/2018
Kennedy retirement: Bad for the climate, potential boost to climate liability?

While the immediate reaction to the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy among environmental activists this week fell somewhere between panic and alarm , the implications of what is certain to be a more conservative Supreme Court on the climate liability movement fall into a grayer area.

Climate Liability News
06/26/2018
Federal judge dismisses San Francisco, Oakland climate suits

A federal judge in California has dismissed the San Francisco and Oakland climate liability lawsuits against five major oil companies, dealing the first major blow to the wave of climate suits that have been filed by communities across the country over the past year. U.S.

Climate Liability News
06/07/2018
In latest climate suit, families demand tougher EU climate action

A new lawsuit is challenging the European Union's climate policies, including the EU's 2030 emissions reduction target, and demanding more ambitious climate action to protect human rights. The case was filed on May 24 in European General Court in Luxembourg. Defendants are the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

Climate Liability News
05/31/2018
Denier-led website targets climate suits, calls them a 'modern witch hunt'

The latest effort to push back against the growing wave of climate liability lawsuits was launched earlier this month by several attorneys aligned with the climate-denial movement. Their project, Climate Litigation Watch , promises transparency and an "objective record of litigation related to climate change."

Climate Liability News
05/11/2018
Battle lines drawn for New York climate lawsuit vs. Big Oil

Oil companies, already busy fending off lawsuits from several California communities, have filed opposition to a similar suit from New York City. Chevron, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil filed a memorandum of law last week, arguing to dismiss New York's climate liability lawsuit.

Climate Liability News
05/10/2018
Latest climate change lawsuit against Big Oil comes from Seattle

King County, Wash., which encompasses the metropolitan area of Seattle, filed a against five major oil companies on Wednesday, joining a growing list of cities and counties seeking to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the impacts of climate change.

Climate Liability News
05/01/2018
State defends youth lawsuit: 'Alaska is not causing climate change.'

In defending Alaska against charges by a group of youth plaintiffs that the state is violating their Constitutional right to a safe climate, the state's assistant attorney general declared on Monday, "Alaska is not destroying the environment. Alaska is not causing climate change."

Climate Liability News
04/17/2018
Colorado communities file climate lawsuits vs. two oil companies

Several Colorado communities have now joined the growing wave of municipalities taking legal action against fossil fuel companies and seeking compensation for the impacts of climate change. The city and county of Boulder and the county of San Miguel on Tuesday announced a new lawsuit against ExxonMobil and Suncor , two of the largest oil companies with active operations in Colorado.

Climate Liability News
04/11/2018
Sea level rise poses huge threat to Calif., raising urgency of liability cases

As fossil fuel companies try to fend off climate liability lawsuits from coastal California communities, a recent study revealed some alarming flood projections for the San Francisco Bay Area, bolstering the communities' argument that rising seas pose imminent harm. The looked at land subsidence, or land that is sinking, which exacerbates flooding risk as sea levels rise.

Climate Liability News
04/10/2018
SEC gives Exxon a pass on climate proposal, but not Chevron

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently responded to shareholder resolutions sent to Chevron and ExxonMobil requesting the oil companies disclose how they plan to align their business models with a low-carbon economy. While the SEC said Exxon could dismiss the proposal, it came to a different conclusion for Chevron, saying Chevron must submit it for consideration at its upcoming shareholder meeting.

Climate Liability News
03/17/2018
Three California climate suits sent back to state court

By Dana Drugmand A federal judge sent a set of California climate liability lawsuits back to state court on Friday. The decision, by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, conflicts with Judge William Alsup's order in late February denying remand for similar lawsuits brought by Oakland and San Francisco.

Theberkshireedge
03/16/2018
Fracking causes extensive environmental, health, safety harms, new study warns

Dana Drugmand In December, acclaimed biologist and anti-fracking activist Sandra Steingraber visited the Berkshires and spoke about the health and climate impacts of fracked gas and pipelines. Now, Steingraber and other health professionals have issued a stark warning that unconventional oil and gas drilling is causing serious health and safety hazards.

Climate Liability News
03/07/2018
Landmark kids climate case will head toward trial, judges rule

By Dana Drugmand The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Trump administration's attempt to sidetrack the Juliana v. United States youth climate case on Wednesday, denying the government's writ of mandamus request and allowing the landmark lawsuit to proceed toward trial .

Climate Liability News
03/07/2018
Citizens sue to hold UK government accountable for climate goals

By Dana Drugmand Joining a growing global trend to demand governments protect their citizens from climate catastrophe, a group in the United Kingdom has sued the government for failing to take ambitious action on climate change. A group of 11 plaintiffs ranging in age from 9 to 79 filed a lawsuit in the UK's High Court in December supported by the nonprofit Plan B.

Theberkshireedge
03/06/2018
Berkshire summit plots transition to 100 percent renewable energy

Pittsfield - State and local officials, business leaders and environmental advocates gathered at Berkshire Community College on Monday to discuss steps to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. The Berkshires 100 Percent Renewable Energy Summit is part of a collaborative statewide conversation focusing on achieving a swift, just and complete transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Climate Liability News
03/01/2018
San Francisco, Oakland climate cases to stay in federal court, judge rules

By Dana Drugmand In the first of two expected decisions on whether to send the California climate liability lawsuits back to state court, a federal district judge sided with the fossil fuel defendants in keeping the San Francisco and Oakland cases in federal court.

Climate Liability News
02/27/2018
In California climate cases, jurisdictional battle takes center stage

By Dana Drugmand California counties and cities suing the fossil fuel industry for climate damage are fighting back against the industry's attempts to move their cases from state to federal court, a jurisdictional tug-of-war likely crucial to the cases' success. In two separate hearings in mid-February, two U.S.

Climate Liability News
02/15/2018
Tax windfall for oil industry adds insult to injury for Puerto Rico

When the House and Senate finally agreed to a longer-term spending package last week, it approved nearly $90 billion in disaster relief to the parts of the country devastated by hurricanes and wildfires last year, ending a months-long struggle to help communities recover.

Climate Liability News
02/08/2018
As San Francisco, Oakland press climate cases, a legal nod to Kivalina

By Dana Drugmand When a remote native Alaskan village could find no other relief from damaging coastal storms and erosion that continuously swallowed its land, it filed a nuisance lawsuit against major energy producers and carbon emitters in federal court. That 2008 suit, Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil et al.

Climate Liability News
02/03/2018
Chevron wants more companies blamed in climate liability cases

By Dana Drugmand Chevron Corp., one of the defendants in a batch of climate change nuisance lawsuits by communities in California, contends that the suits are meritless, but just in case the company is deemed liable for carbon pollution, the Norwegian state-owned oil company Statoil to shoulder some of the liability burden.

Climate Liability News
01/26/2018
Climate liability cases 'as American as apple pie,' experts argue

By Dana Drugmand From severe droughts and recent mega-wildfires to melting snowpack and coastal flooding, climate change impacts are already devastating the state of California. Now, the Golden State is at the forefront of new climate liability lawsuits against the fossil fuel industry-litigation that has begun to change the conversation about how climate change should be addressed.

Climate Liability News
01/10/2018
Exxon launches legal retaliation for California climate suits

ExxonMobil is pushing back against a wave of climate liability lawsuits in California seeking to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for climate change impacts. In a filed Monday in a Texas district court, the company claims the suits amount to a conspiracy aimed to undermine the company's First Amendment rights and coerce it into shifting its stance on climate change.

Climate Liability News
01/05/2018
Hawaii joins trend: court recognizes constitutional right to a safe climate

By Dana Drugmand Hawaii's highest court took an important step in December to hold the state's agencies accountable for transitioning away from fossil fuels as it affirmed the state's constitutional right to a clean environment. The ruling cheered environmental activists at the end of an otherwise stressful year.

Climate Liability News
12/18/2017
California climate lawsuits: different strategies, same goal

By Dana Drugmand When the counties of Marin and San Mateo, along with the City of Imperial Beach, filed lawsuits against more than three dozen fossil fuel companies over the impacts of climate change, they jumped to the forefront of a movement to turn to the courts for climate relief.

Theberkshireedge
12/16/2017
Through HeatSmart Great Barrington offering affordable green energy home heating options

Great Barrington - As winter and its freezing temperatures set in, town residents have a unique opportunity to engage in a home heating program that is both cheaper and greener.\ Great Barrington is one of four community grantees statewide selected to participate in the first round of HeatSmart Mass - a community-based education and group purchasing program for clean heating and cooling technologies.

Climate Liability News
12/15/2017
Trade group gears up to discredit climate liability movement

By Dana Drugmand In response to a growing wave of climate change lawsuits and legal investigations attempting to hold fossil fuel corporations accountable for climate consequences and decades of deception, a large industry trade group is now fervently pushing back with an "accountability" initiative of its own.

Theberkshireedge
11/28/2017
Ecologist Sandra Steingraber to speak on fracked gas, PCBs, and our health Saturday in Lenox

Lenox -- Acclaimed author, biologist, cancer survivor, and environmental activist Sandra Steingraber is slated to speak on environmental toxins and human health this Saturday, December 2 starting at 5 p.m. at Lenox Memorial High School. Dr. Steingraber's talk will specifically address local environmental concerns surrounding fracked gas, PCB contamination, and how these impact our health.

Climate Liability News
11/16/2017
Evidence backs fossil fuel companies' climate liability, study says

By Dana Drugmand Research has boosted the concepts of climate liability and corporate accountability in recent years from pie-in-the-sky theories to plausible underpinnings for litigation. Now, a synthesizing this research concludes there is solid evidentiary basis for holding fossil fuel companies accountable for climate change.

Climate Liability News
10/23/2017
How will Puerto Rico, drowning in debt, pay to rebuild?

By Dana Drugmand One month after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico-the worst storm to hit the island in more than 80 years-human suffering continues amid a deepening debt crisis. With hurricane recovery costs alone estimated to reach as high as $95 billion , with an estimated 80 percent of the island still without power and 30 percent without clean water, the question of where that money comes from remains unanswered.

Theberkshireedge
09/04/2017
REVIEW: Al Gore returns with 'An Inconvenient Sequel,' seeking solutions to climate meltdown

Williamstown - Speak truth to power. That's the message conveyed by the latest climate change documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. As the title implies, the film is a follow-up to the award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth (2006). That's right, former vice president Al Gore is back at it, relentlessly raising awareness of the existential crisis that is global warming.

Green Energy Times
08/23/2017
State Clean Energy Funds: A Driving Force in Renewables Deployment for Over a Decade

A Driving Force in Renewables Deployment for Over a Decade Long before the current emphasis on sub-national leadership in advancing clean energy, some states had created funds dedicated to supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy development. In 2002, a new national nonprofit organization emerged to coordinate and assist these clean energy funds.

Clean Energy States Alliance - Member News
08/15/2017
Advancing Clean Energy: 15 Years of State Leadership

As the federal government has retreated from aggressive support for renewable energy, the states are increasingly seen as the locus for innovation and action. New regional and national coalitions of states have emerged to coordinate some of the states' efforts.

Theberkshireedge
08/03/2017
Ratepayers shocked by proposed 27 percent electric rate hike

Dana Drugmand Pittsfield - Elected officials, business representatives, facilities directors, working-class advocates and environmentalists were among the range of people speaking out Tuesday night (August 1) against a proposed electric rate hike requested by Eversource Energy.

Green Energy Times
04/21/2017
Tax Reform and Climate Action:

Starting the Conversation By Dana Drugmand On yet another record-breaking warm day in April, a group of Vermonters gathered on the lawn in front of Capstone Community Action in Barre, many holding signs that read "Tax Reform and Climate Action.

Truthout
11/17/2016
Judge Won't Dismiss Youth Climate Lawsuit; Stage Set for Historic Trial

As global temperature continues to rise -- with 2016 slated to set a new high for the third consecutive year -- young climate activists are rising to the occasion and breaking new legal ground. Finally, a landmark youth-led climate change lawsuit may move forward to trial.

The Leap
02/23/2016
EmPOWERing Communities: Renewable Energy Co-ops Drive Local Investment And Ownership | The Leap

Citizens are increasingly standing up and fighting back against dirty energy projects across the country, from the Gateway Pacific coal terminal in western Washington to the Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline in New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. But some are taking it a step further by engaging in clean energy development at the local, grassroots level.

Theberkshireedge
07/22/2015
Cap on solar energy stymies Berkshire clean energy projects

Dana Drugmand PITTSFIELD - Solar industry supporters, local officials and environmental advocates are calling on Massachusetts' legislators to act immediately to raise the caps on the state's solar net metering program. "There's a cap on the total amount of solar power eligible for net metering, and in March the cap was hit for towns served by National Grid, including many towns in the Berkshires.

Earth Island Journal
06/10/2015
Aspen Poised to Move to 100 Percent Renewable Electricity

Cities around the country are turning to wind, solar, and hydropower to meet energy needs When it comes to going green, the real action appears to be happening in cities. Georgetown, Texas, recently announced plans to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable wind and solar power within two years.

Theberkshireedge
04/23/2015
Fossil fuel divestment movement attempts to gain steam - at Harvard, Williams

CAMBRIDGE - As the planet continues to warm, activists pushing for fossil fuel divestment are turning up the heat. College students have been organizing sit-ins and occupying their universities' administrative buildings demanding justice and a reconsideration from university officials to answer the call to divest.

Theberkshireedge
04/13/2015
'Pipeline Pilgrimage' called attention to climate crisis

DALTON - Kinder Morgan's proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) gas pipeline has garnered widespread opposition locally and across the region. In response a group of young faith leaders and concerned citizens mobilized an effort to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change and the need to refocus our attention away from destructive fossil fuel expansion and towards a more sustainable, cleaner energy future.

Theberkshireedge
03/14/2015
Cape Wind proponents rally for renewable energy future

Dana Drugmand BOSTON - Hundreds turned out on the Boston Commons on the last day of February to rally support for Cape Wind and call on utility companies to reinstate their contracts to purchase clean power and jumpstart the offshore wind industry in the U.S.

Theberkshireedge
03/01/2015
Massachusetts activists call for end to fossil fuel investments

Editor's Note: Last week, the Great Barrington Selectboard began consideration of a measure that would divest the town's pension fund of its holdings in fossil fuel companies. Across Massachusetts there is a growing movement for just such a divestment.

Theberkshireedge
02/16/2015
Kinder Morgan ramps up pipeline PR pitch

PITTSFIELD - Kinder Morgan, the Texas-based multibillion dollar company seeking to build a high-pressure fracked gas pipeline through western Massachusetts, held a community open house last Tuesday night, February 10, at Berkshire Community College. Representatives from Tennessee Gas, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, were on hand to answer questions about the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline.

Theberkshireedge
02/04/2015
Clean energy advocates unifying opposition to $5 billion pipeline

Pittsfield - As opposition to Kinder Morgan's $5 billion dollar Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline project continues to mount regionally, a group of local activists is pushing to unite communities across Berkshire County to stand against fossil fuel infrastructure expansion and to promote a clean energy future. On Saturday, Jan.

Theberkshireedge
12/31/2014
State delays release of controversial review of future state energy needs

Dana Drugmand Boston - The release of the highly anticipated, state-commissioned energy study that will serve as a blueprint for determining the need for additional natural gas infrastructure, such as the $5 billion high-pressure Northeast Direct (NED) pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan, has been unexpectedly postponed. Slated for release on Dec.

Theberkshireedge
12/13/2014
New route; same Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline

Washington, Mass. - This past Monday (December 8) Kinder Morgan, the firm behind the proposed multi-billion dollar Northeast Energy Direct natural gas line, updated its pre-filing application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee to reflect a new preferred route alongside existing power lines in western Massachusetts.

YES! Magazine
10/27/2014
Matt Damon, Harrison Ford Lead All-Star Cast in Showtime Climate Change Series

Since climate change is the single biggest issue facing humanity, it deserves serious attention. If we're to preserve the planet we call home, it's time to go big. That's the thinking behind Years of Living Dangerously, a nine-part documentary series that uses blockbuster Hollywood storytelling techniques to hammer home the climate change message.

Theberkshireedge
10/21/2014
The Real Inconvenient Truth: Capitalism clashes with climate action

Dana Drugmand Cambridge, Mass. - Last month's historic People's Climate mobilization signaled to world leaders that citizens all over the globe were demanding urgent and bold action to address the unfolding threat of climate change. But will our leaders respond to the people's plea?

YES! Magazine
09/18/2014
Stanford's Coal Divestment: Meet 2 Students-And 1 President-Who Made It Happen

Stanford University student Erica Knox went to see Bill McKibben's "Do the Math" tour in November 2012. That's when McKibben and 350.org launched a divestment movement to address climate change and challenge the power of the fossil fuel industry. Knox has been involved with divestment group Fossil Free Stanford ever since.

Other Reporting

DeSmog
05/27/2020
Captured Courts: Senate Dems Call Out GOP For Assault On Judiciary

Under the cover of dark money from big donors and special interest influence, Republicans have stealthily extended their ideological agenda into what is supposed to be an independent federal judiciary, according to a new report released today from Senate Democrats.

The Berkshire Edge
11/19/2018
Progressive movements conference calls for unity to confront contemporary crises

Boston - "We have been drawn together by a sense that there is danger in the air," Rev. Karlene Griffiths Sekou remarked in the opening of her afternoon keynote address Saturday, November 17. She addressed an audience of more than 100 gathered at Simmons University for a progressive organizing event titled "The Next Two Years and Beyond: A Movement Building Conference."

Published Op-eds

Climate Home News
06/07/2018
Court cases will expose Big Oil's hypocrisy on climate change

In court, oil majors say climate action is a matter for governments; outside it, they lobby against climate policies. They can't have it both ways By Dana Drugmand So far eleven cities and counties across the US have filed lawsuits against the fossil fuel industry seeking compensation for climate impacts.

Common Dreams
03/05/2018
Time to Hold Petroleum Perpetrators Accountable for Climate Damage

"We'll see you in court." That's the message New York City recently sent to the industry recklessly destabilizing Earth's climate. In announcing a new lawsuit against five of the largest corporate oil companies, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "It's time for Big Oil to take responsibility for the devastation they have wrought."

Common Dreams
08/17/2017
Charlottesville, Oppression, and the Imperative of System Change

We are living in deeply troubling times. Our democracy is eroding, wealth and income inequality has skyrocketed, and tragedy and violence seemingly erupt daily around the world. The recent events in Charlottesville, VA are just the latest reminder of the disturbing place we find ourselves in.

The Energy Collective
07/11/2017
5 Ways States Are Accelerating Renewable Energy - The Energy Collective

Many of the initiatives to move our energy system towards clean, renewable power emanate from the state and local levels. A few cities have already reached the 100 percent clean energy mark, with many more committing to eventually meet that standard. State policies and programs, meanwhile, have been instrumental in furthering the renewable energy revolution.

Renewableenergyworld
06/08/2017
Advancing Clean Energy at the State Level - An Imperative

In the wake of President Trump's recent decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, one thing seems abundantly clear, and that is that the role of states in advancing clean energy becomes even more important. Now more than ever, policies and programs to promote sustainable energy resources will come from the state level.

VTDigger
05/07/2017
Dana Drugmand: Placing a price on carbon pollution - VTDigger

Commentary Editor's note: This commentary is by Dana Drugmand, of South Royalton, who recently completed an internship with the Vermont Natural Resources Council in the Energy and Climate Action program. She will graduate this month from Vermont Law School with a master's degree in environmental law and policy.

Theberkshireedge
04/28/2017
With carbon tax Massachusetts could curb fossil fuel dependency

Tomorrow, on April 29, tens of thousands of people will gather in cities across the country in the latest installment of the People's Climate March. We will be marching in protest of the Trump administration's antagonistic climate agenda and also in support of grassroots sustainability work grounded in principles of economic, environmental and social justice.

VTDigger
02/09/2017
Dana Drugmand: Clean energy economy more important than ever - VTDigger

Commentary Editor's note: This commentary is by Dana Drugmand, a graduate student at Vermont Law School pursing a master's degree in environmental law and policy. She is currently interning with the Vermont Natural Resources Council in the Energy and Climate Action program.

Truthout
03/08/2016
A New Strategy to Address Climate Change: Suing for Community Rights

" No Short-Term Fix for California Methane Leak"; " How Tap Water Became Toxic in Flint, Michigan"; " Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries." If these recent headlines are any indication, environmental woes are mounting despite decades of attempts to reverse ecological devastation.

Truthout
03/23/2015
The Fight of Our Lives: Millennials Must Lead Call for Climate Justice

As I write this, Pacific Islanders in Vanuatu are left picking up the pieces after the worst natural disaster in recent memory ripped through the region. Vanuatu's president referred to Cyclone Pam as a "monster," a storm that singlehandedly leveled the capital city leaving at least sixteen confirmed dead and countless others displaced.

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