It’s rare to brag about wanting to raise energy costs. But that’s the goal of climate lawsuits brought by some Colorado communities against a number of companies that sell Americans oil, gas, and other types of energy. With economic uncertainty and elevated inflation, the last thing public officials should do is exacerbate the energy security problem facing many Americans by causing energy prices to go up.
In one lawsuit, the city and county of Boulder and San Miguel County are trying to make energy companies pay billions of dollars for local infrastructure programs they say are needed because of climate change. The lawyers and advocates underwriting the communities’ lawsuit told a local radio station that their goal is to use this litigation as a means to coerce companies to “raise the price” of their fuel.
The costs of these infrastructure projects would get priced into what Americans like you and me pay for energy. Indeed, soon after the case was filed, another lawyer for the communities wrote that suing energy companies over climate change is their way of holding “consumers responsible” for using these fuels.
And it is not just Colorado communities — there are nearly 30 of these cases. Most recently, Multnomah County, Oregon, filed a lawsuit seeking an eye-popping $50 billion from the energy companies. Other cases have been filed by New York City, San Mateo County and Vermont, along with others. In short, this litigation is an attempt at a huge money grab — or a transfer of assets from you to them.
The lawyers for the Colorado communities are probably right. We can expect the cost of energy to go up considerably if these lawsuits are successful. Hopefully, common sense will prevail. That’s because these cases are legally flawed. Climate change is not anyone’s fault. It is a global phenomenon caused by greenhouse gas emissions around the world for the past two centuries by many activities, including activities central to modern life.
Read the full Daily Sentinel article, here.
Steve Pociask is the CEO of the American Consumer Institute, a nonprofit education and research organization. For more information about the Institute, visit www.theamericanconsumer.org or follow us on Twitter @ConsumerPal.