Local governments are starting to sue the oil industry on their role in climate change 

March 27 – Bucks County, PA, has joined a growing list of local governments around the country who have sued the oil industry claiming deception over their role in climate change. 

The Bucks County lawsuit against about six oil companies blames them for intense storms that not only killed people, but also caused infrastructure damage. 

The local entities want the oil companies to pay for the destruction. 

Seventeen states as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, have also sued the oil industry. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM asked, “How on earth could you even get this to the finish line? It looks like lawyers are going to make money. We’re going to spend an enormous amount of time on something. How do you quantify this one?”

Attorney Clint Barkdoll suggested, “This is a money grab is what this amounts to. Now it is noteworthy. There are a number of government entities around the country that have filed similar claims. Think of this in terms of all those lawsuits that are pending right now against social media companies and every week new school districts or county governments jump on board. That’s what this is starting to feel like. The theory of the case is, like in Bucks County, they’re saying they had that massive storm last year that caused flooding, there were even some deaths. It cost the county a bunch of money to repair the damages from that storm. Bucks County is saying that these fossil fuel companies, the big oil companies, they’ve contributed to climate conditions that are causing these severe storms. I think it’s a very tough case. But there are a number of municipalities around the country filing the same action. The number in the reporting is we’re now approaching almost 1,800 of these climate lawsuits that have been filed. You wonder at the county level, if you’re a commissioner or even here locally, is this the kind of thing you get the letter, solicitation from a law firm, no cost to sign up, so they’re going to go ahead and sign up for it, knowing that if there is this massive class action settlement eventually, a piece of that would be returning to your county government. I have a feeling that’s what’s going on here.”