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Judge Merrick Garland is expected to “respect science and the rule of law” if confirmed as Attorney General. Plus he has deep experience, having heard many environmental cases over his twenty-plus years on the bench in Washington, D.C.
Why This Matters: I (Monica) can’t think of an Attorney General who has spent this much time digging into the details of challenging environmental cases.
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected (with no written explanation) an effort by oil giant Exxon Mobile to block an investigation by the State of Massachusetts’ Attorney General, Maura Healey, into whether the company misled the public and investors about how much it knew regarding whether its products increased the threat of climate change. As a result, Attorney General Healey can force the company to provide her decades of records about how it has dealt with the threat of climate change to the world and to its businesses.
Why This Matters: The Supreme Court has twice refused to step in and cut off novel climate change lawsuits in recent months. That they passed up the chance to stop these untested cases is telling. Even if the cases are ultimately unsuccessful, the public will learn a great deal about the complicity of oil companies in our current climate predicament, which could hasten their desire to shift away from fossil fuels. Moreover, the negative publicity these cases generate is bad for the oil companies, and for Congress and the Executive Branch as well, which are look anemic in the face of the growing challenges climate change presents the country.
To Go Deeper: Inside Climate News has a great summary of the many court challenges challenging the fossil fuel industry right now, both in the U.S. and abroad.
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