Technology Oregon County Seeks To Hold Fossil Fuel Companies Accountable...

-

Oregon County Seeks To Hold Fossil Fuel Companies Accountable For Extreme Heat

Oregon County Seeks To Hold Fossil Fuel Companies Accountable For Extreme Heat

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Northwest Oregon had never seen anything like it. Over the course of three days in June 2021, Multnomah County — the state’s most populous county, which rests in the swayback along Oregon’s northern border — recorded highs of 108, 112, and 116 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures were so hot that the metal on cable cars melted and the asphalt on roadways buckled. Nearly half the homes in the county lacked cooling systems because of Oregon’s typically gentle summers, where average highs top out at 81 degrees. Sixty-nine people perished from heat stroke, most of them in their homes. When scientific studies showed that the extreme temperatures were caused by heat domes, which experts say are influenced by climate change, county officials didn’t just chalk it up to a random weather occurrence. They started researching the large fossil fuel companies whose emissions are driving the climate crisis — including ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron — and sued them (PDF).

“This catastrophe was not caused by an act of God,” said Jeffrey B. Simon, a lawyer for the county, “but rather by several of the world’s largest energy companies playing God with the lives of innocent and vulnerable people by selling as much oil and gas as they could.” Now, 11 months after the suit was filed, Multnomah County is preparing to move forward with the case in Oregon state court after a federal judge in June settled (PDF) a monthslong debate over where the suit should be heard. About three dozen lawsuits have been filed by states, counties, and cities seeking damages from oil and gas companies for harms caused by climate change. Legal experts said the Oregon case is one of the first focused on public health costs related to high temperatures during a specific occurrence of the “heat dome effect.” Most of the other lawsuits seek damages more generally from such ongoing climate-related impacts as sea level rise, increased precipitation, intensifying extreme weather events, and flooding. […]

The Multnomah County lawsuit says that Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and others engaged in a range of improper practices, including negligence, creating a public nuisance, fraud, and deceit. The suit alleges that the companies were aware of the harms of fossil fuels and engaged in a “scheme to rapaciously sell fossil fuel products and deceptively promote them as harmless to the environment, while they knew that carbon pollution emitted by their products into the atmosphere would likely cause deadly extreme heat events like that which devastated Multnomah County.” “We know that climate-induced weather events like the 2021 Heat Dome harm the residents of Multnomah County and cause real financial costs to our local government,” Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson said in a statement. “The Court’s decision to hear this lawsuit in State Court validates our assertion that the case should be resolved here — it’s an important win for this community.” In the suit, officials in Portland’s Multnomah County said that they will ultimately incur costs in excess of $1.5 billion to deal with the effects of the 2021 heat dome.

“We allege that this is just like any other kind of public health crisis and mass destruction of property that is caused by corporate wrongdoing,” said Simon, partner in the law firm of Simon Greenstone Panatier. “We contend that these companies polluted the atmosphere with carbon from the burning of fossil fuels; that they foresaw that extreme environmental harm would be caused by it; that some of them, we contend, deliberately misled the public about that.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

News for nerds, stuff that matters
Source : https://yro.slashdot.org/story/24/07/09/2233206/oregon-county-seeks-to-hold-fossil-fuel-companies-accountable-for-extreme-heat?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed

Latest news

21Shares launches Injective ETP with staking on Euronext

INJ takes a spot among the largest cryptos with a financial product exposing it to traditional investors. INJ...

Jack Dorsey’s Block to shutter UK operations for Cash App

The app, one of the products of payments firm Block, had been operating in the United Kingdom...

Bitcoin Open-Source Development Takes The Stage In Nashville

Next week’s Open-Source Stage at Bitcoin Nashville will showcase the latest in Bitcoin innovation, focusing on programmability,...

Silver Crown Royalties Receives Conditional Approval to Trade on Cboe

Silver Crown Royalties Receives Conditional Approval to Trade on Cboe Silver Crown Royalties Inc. (“Silver Crown”, “SCRi”, the “Corporation”, or...

Splitgate 2 Announced, New Halo-Meets-Portal FPS Coming 2025

Splitgate 2 Announced, New Halo-Meets-Portal FPS Coming 2025 The sequel is coming to PS5 and PS4 in 2025. CNET news editors...

Dyson’s New $500 OnTrac Headphones Are Just Headphones, Which Is Probably Good

Dyson's New $500 OnTrac Headphones Are Just Headphones, Which Is Probably Good After releasing a pair of funky $1,000 air-purifying...
Advertisement

Must read

Advertisement

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you