U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup this evening dismissed the climate change case filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland against five oil companies.
"The scope of the plaintiffs' theory is breathtaking," Alsup wrote in his ruling. "...anyone who supplied fossil fuels with knowledge of the problem would be liable."
Alsup said further that the science of climate change is not at issue.
"All parties agree that fossil fuels have led to global warming and ocean rise and will continue to do so," he wrote, "and that eventually the navigable waters of the United States will intrude upon Oakland and San Francisco."
However, because the causes and dangers of global warming are worldwide, Alsup wrote, the remedy for the issue properly belongs in the legislative branch, not in the courts.
I have only had a minute to skim Judge Alsup's decision dismissing Oakland/SF climate nuisance cases, but this is the key graf, seems to me -- a global problem, says the judge, requires a global solution, and that's beyond the courts' power to provide pic.twitter.com/cOydRUmFvi
— Mike Burger (@ProfBurger) June 26, 2018
"The problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case," Alsup wrote.