The prospects for a possible climate lawsuit currently under consideration in Boulder, Colo. could change following a pair of California municipalities lost their bid to keep the climate lawsuits they filed against oil and gas companies in state court after a judge ruled the litigation must remain in federal court. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California’s Judge William Alsup denied Oakland and San Francisco’s motions last week that sought to return their climate cases to state court. The cities have sued BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell, alleging flood damages as a result of what they claim are the effects of climate change such as sea-level rise and the need for mitigation, including sea walls.
The director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s air and water quality programs recommended “taking baby steps” on pushing climate action and cautioned that the City of Boulder’s potential climate lawsuit against oil and gas developers might not be the best approach in pushing an environmental agenda. The CDPHE’s Martha Rudolph spoke with Western Wire following a panel on state climate action at the Climate Leadership Conference in Denver this week.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) welcomed proposed revisions to the Department of Interior’s reorganization plan and said the possible relocation of the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters to the West would be a “different approach” to federal action in comments on Thursday. Hickenlooper spoke with reporters at the Climate Leadership Conference in Denver.
The entrance of Republican Rep. Kevin Kramer of North Dakota to the U.S. Senate race last week against first-term incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) could shake up not only the chances for the GOP in picking up a seat, but their chances of retaining the Senate overall in 2018. And a large source of that added scrutiny comes down to oil and gas regulations following Heitkamp’s closly watched votes on regulations like the Bureau of Land Management’s methane rule in 2017.
At the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) called for a referred measure from legislators this session in order to raise severance tax revenues from oil and gas as a way to pay for the state’s water plan. If passed, the measure would be placed on November’s midterm ballot.
California billionaire Tom Steyer has targeted state races in Colorado for the 2018 midterm, but some of the climate activist’s infrastructure has already been called upon to shore up the political fortunes of a local county commissioner. Conservation Colorado, a state affiliate of the Steyer-funded League of Conservation Voters (LCV), has launched and paid for a campaign to retain embattled La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt, a Western Wire investigation shows.
The City of Boulder is considering “potential costs and risk” associated with launching a lawsuit against oil and gas companies, according to documents obtained through a Colorado Open Records Act request. Boulder’s Mayor, Suzanne Jones, asked the City Attorney’s Office for advice on a possible climate change lawsuit against unnamed energy producers.