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San Francisco vs. Big Oil: Climate Case Dismissed

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Gerald Hurtado
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This story originally appeared on Mother Jones and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

On Monday, a San Francisco federal judge ruled in favor of Big Oil, throwing out a prominent lawsuit brought by two California cities, Oakland and San Francisco, over the fossil fuel industry’s responsibility in dealing with climate change.

It was a landmark case, prompting cities across the country to follow suit in an effort to protect their citizens from the growing threat of global warming.

As Mother Jones’ Amy Thomson wrote in October, the cities hoped to force the companies to pay for seawalls and other municipal projects necessary to combat the effects of a warming planet, which the companies had a hand in causing.

In essence, the cities sought damages from climate change, which they claimed was a form of public nuisance.

In his ruling, Judge William Alsup didn’t dispute the science of climate change and in fact the oil companies—including BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and ConocoPhillips—don’t either.

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Gerald Hurtado
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