Officials from Boulder County, San Miguel County, and the City of Boulder announced today that they were filing a lawsuit against two oil companies, Suncor and ExxonMobil, seeking damages over the impacts of climate change.
Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones referred to a recent report that showed that Boulder County could have to spend $100 million on additional costs to pay for climate change adaptions, like cooling strategies during heat waves and wildfire mitigation.
“Plain and simple cities and counties just cannot afford to shoulder this burden alone, nor should we.”
Suzanne Jones, Mayor of Boulder, said that Suncor and Exxon knew about the consequences of fossil fuel use for more than 50 years. Yet they continued to promote and sell fossil fuels while deceiving the public and policy makers about the dangers.
“And we think that the companies that caused this crisis should help pay their fair share, especially since they profited enormously from the crisis they created.”
Emma Brae with Earth Guardians spoke at Tuesday’s press conference saying her generation is living with the consequences of climate change caused by oil and gas corporations who hid research on the damage being done to the climate.
“Corporations such as Exxon and Suncor are a major part of the problem. They not only value profit over the health and safety and well being of people and the earth, these companies did research to uncover the devastation that climate change was having on the earth and deliberately misled the public about their findings. This lawsuit challenges the reckless behavior of all oil and gas industry. If no action is taken this burden will be left on the shoulders of future generations.”
Brae is a plaintiff in another lawsuit, the Martinez vs Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission suit which asserts that the state is obliged to first and foremost consider the impact of drilling on public health before issuing permits. Earlier this year the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in that case brought by the plaintiffs after a lower court sided with the COGCC.
The lawsuit announced today is the 10th in the country where communities, the other 9 being coastal communities, are suing oil and gas companies over the effects of climate change. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association released a statement today calling this latest suit a political stunt.