Famous Ski Towns Sue Oil Giants For Climate Change

Two Colorado counties and the City of Boulder have filed a lawsuit against Canada-based Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO,SU) and U.S. giant Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) for the “substantial role” they played in causing and contributing to climate change-related damage to their communities.

The communities of Boulder County, San Miguel County and the City of Boulder filed the lawsuit in a U.S. district court in the State of Colorado, seeking monetary compensation for past and future damages as well as costs to mitigate the impact of climate change.

The 1,300-square-mile San Miguel County lies in southwest Colorado on the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains and has an estimated population of about 8,000. Nearly a third of the county’s residents live in Telluride, a well-known ski resort town.

The City of Boulder, lies at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 25 miles northwest of Denver. It is the county seat of the 750-square-mile Boulder County and also home to nearly a third of the county’s 319,000 residents.

The plaintiffs alleged that the actions of Suncor and Exxon Mobil have altered the climate in Colorado, noting that the climate change as brought heat waves, wildfires, droughts and floods to the State.

They want the two oil giants to help remediate the nuisance caused by their “intentional, reckless and negligent conduct”, specifically by paying their share of the plaintiffs’ abatement costs.

The plaintiffs also said that each community has launched initiatives to curb carbon emissions and adapt to a changing climate. They added that while they have also taken substantial steps to prevent climate change, they are still being harmed by its impact on their property and residents.

According to the plaintiffs, Suncor’s operations in Colorado emitted about one million metric tons of greenhouse gases or GHGs in 2016 alone. Further, they alleged that Suncor and Exxon Mobil spent decades selling fossil fuels without disclosing the dangers that continued fossil fuel over-use posed.

Several U.S. municipal governments including New York and San Francisco have also filed similar lawsuits against other oil companies for allegedly contributing to global warming and injuring their communities.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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