SETBACK

Judge Tosses Climate Change Lawsuits Against Big Oil Companies

A federal judge in California on Monday tossed out lawsuits that sought to hold several big oil companies accountable for climate change, saying he believes Congress and President Trump are best positioned to address the issue of fossil fuels. U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who raised some eyebrows in March when he held a hearing with climate change experts to educate himself on the issue, said the lawsuits against Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell demand more attention than a judge can give. “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,” he said. Alsup’s ruling came in response to lawsuits filed by authorities in San Francisco and Oakland who accused oil companies of promoting fossil fuels as environmentally safe despite knowing the risks they pose.