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Monday, February 17, 2020

INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE: AG Curtis Hill praises another dismissal of a lawsuit targeting fossil-fuel corporations

By Press release submission | Jul 30, 2018

Court room

Indiana Attorney General's Office issued the following announcement on July 23.

Attorney General Curtis Hill announced that a 15-state coalition led by Indiana has prevailed in its support of a motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed by New York City against five fossil-fuel companies.

In its lawsuit, New York City claimed that the five corporations violated “common law” because they contributed to global warming – which, the plaintiffs said, constitutes a “public nuisance,” a “private nuisance” and “trespass.”

In dismissing the lawsuit, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York stated that the Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency’s corresponding enforcement authority superseded federal common law nuisance claims pertaining to emissions. The district court also cited the separation of powers doctrine, stating that courts should exercise restraint in matters best left to the executive and legislative branches of government.

The dismissal of this case comes just four weeks after another federal district court dismissed a nearly identical case in California. In that case, Indiana also led a 15-state amicus brief seeking dismissal.

“Municipal governments cannot dictate national energy policy or curb economic activity that occurs outside their jurisdictional boundaries,” Attorney General Hill said. “Just as was true in California, this decision rightly upholds the principles of federalism and the appropriate exercise of judicial authority.”

Those opposing New York City’s claims share the desire for a clean environment and responsible energy policies, he added, even while seeing potential dangers in the overregulation of industries.

“Everyone believes we should take care of the planet and exercise wise stewardship of natural resources,” Attorney General Hill said. “But we can pursue these important priorities while also respecting the rule of law and supporting a robust economy.”

Original source can be found here.

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