A tanker truck passes the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, Calif., in 2010. LOS ANGELES — A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday against major oil companies in lawsuits brought by California cities and counties seeking damages for the impact of climate change. A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said state courts are the proper forum for lawsuits alleging Big Oil promoted petroleum as environmentally responsible when producers knew it was causing damage. Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and Royal Dutch Shell and other companies had sought to move the cases to federal courts, where one judge had tossed lawsuits brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland. The lawsuits claim the companies created a public nuisance and should pay for damage from climate change and help build sea walls and other infrastructure to protect against future impact — construction that could cost tens of billions of dollars. “It is time for these companies to pay their fair share,” San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement applauding the ruling. “They should not be able to stick taxpayers with the bill for the damage they knew they were causing. We will continue to […]


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