GOP State AGs Push Supreme Court To Intervene In Hawaii’s Drastic Climate Case Against Energy Companies
UNITED STATES - MARCH 24: Steve Marshall, attorney general of Alabama, testifies on the fourth day of the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Bidens nominee for Associate Justice to the Supreme Court, in Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, on Thursday, March 24, 2022.
Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

A coalition of 20 Republican state attorneys general filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court this week, asking it to take up a major leftist climate case against energy companies that could have serious ramifications for the entire country.

The city of Honolulu claimed in a lawsuit that oil companies like Exxon and Chevron should pay billions of dollars because they were responsible for weather events caused by climate change, including sea level rise, heat waves, flooding, and global warming.

The oil companies initially appealed the ruling with the Hawaii Supreme Court, noting that federal law prevents states from shaping policies for all states, but Hawaii’s top court sided with the city of Honolulu.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall led the coalition in filing the amicus brief with support from Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

“If Hawaiians want to rely on solar power, I have no problem with that,” said Marshall. “But Honolulu cannot force its views onto Alabama—or any other State. Major decisions about our national energy policy must be made at the federal level, not dictated by one lawsuit brought by one city in its own courts.” He added, “It is especially hypocritical for Honolulu, which has reaped tremendous benefits from fossil fuels for travel and the tourism industry, to try to impose costs on the rest of the Nation, which also depends on energy to meet day-to-day needs.”


The amicus brief argues that cases involving interstate emissions must be brought under federal law, not state law.

“Otherwise, one State’s actions could violate the sovereignty of every other State to set its own energy and environmental goals,” Marshall’s office said in a statement. “The brief further argues that Hawaii’s lawsuit creates an interstate controversy, which must be resolved by the federal courts. The Supreme Court must intervene before a state judge in Hawaii has the chance to impose what would be a massive tax on the energy system.”

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