19 Attorney Generals Sue to Shield Residents from Climate Policies


Nineteen state attorneys general filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court last week against a coalition of five Democrat-led states accused of coercing the nation into compliance with a radical climate agenda.

The group of nearly two dozen attorneys general filed the suit against California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island for imposing strict regulations that present consequences for the rest of the nation.

“California and New Jersey and the defendant states are trying to make national energy policy through state laws,” Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach told Fox News, whose state joined the lawsuit. “If the defendant states’ laws have their desired effects, fossil fuel energy companies across the nation will either be hit with massive damages or have to change their policies directly. And, those defendant states will affect the availability of cheap, affordable energy in our states.”

Plaintiff states are asking the Supreme Court to block ongoing lawsuits against oil and gas producers that threaten to present repercussions for constituents beyond the jurisdictions of blue state courts. The coalition of state attorneys general suing to block blue state lawsuits is led by Alabama’s Steve Marshall, whose office explained in a press release that ongoing litigation in the five defendant states demands “billions of dollars in damages” from energy companies “for an alleged ‘climate crisis.’”

“The theory advanced by these states is truly radical: A small gas station in rural Alabama could owe money to the people of Minnesota simply for selling a gallon of gas. The customer might even be liable too,” Marshall said. “These states are welcome to enforce their preferred policies within their jurisdiction, but they do not have authority to dictate our national energy policy.”

California has long been a national leader in shaping emissions standards across the country due to exemptions for the Golden State embedded in the Clean Air Act. Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia have chosen to adopt California’s vehicle emissions rules, which are stricter than federal regulations. For decades, California’s outsized influence has driven vehicle manufacturers to comply with the West Coast emissions rules to meet the criteria embraced by more than a quarter of the country.

Marshall extrapolated on the newly filed case brought to the Supreme Court last week in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

“Justice Louis Brandeis described states as laboratories of democracy that ‘can try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country,’” Marshall asked. “But what happens when a state tries to experiment on its neighbors? That’s the question presented to the U.S. Supreme Court in Alabama v. California.”

Marshall continued:

This blue-state experiment arises from policy makers’ frustrations with the national democratic process. Oil and gas account for two-thirds of U.S. primary energy consumption; they are critical to economic prosperity and geopolitical power. Despite decades of effort, progressive climate activists haven’t persuaded Congress to ban fossil fuels.

States joining Alabama in the suit before the Supreme Court include Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Democrat attorneys general in the states being sued have dismissed the case as “political theater” and “absurd,” according to the Associated Press.

Tristan Justice
Tristan Justice
Tristan Justice is our western correspondent and the author of Social Justice Redux, a conservative newsletter on culture, health, and wellness. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism.

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