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FACTBOX-U.S. climate change litigation highlights

Source: Reuters - Thu, 16 May 2013 10:59 GMT
Author: Reuters
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May 16 (Reuters) - U.S. courts have become a battleground in the ongoing public debate over how to address climate change. Some of the significant cases include:

- Massachusetts v. EPA: In a landmark 2007 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against the Bush administration in finding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide.

- American Electric Power v. Connecticut: In a sequel of sorts to Massachusetts v. EPA, the court ruled 8-0 in 2011 that states cannot seek action to curb reductions in greenhouse gas emissions based on so-called "public nuisance" claims under federal common law.

- Kivalina v. Exxon Mobil et al: In 2012, a federal appeals court cited the AEP v. Connecticut decision in saying that an Alaskan village cannot sue various oil companies and utilities for damages associated with climate change. The village has asked the Supreme Court to hear the case.

- Greenhouse gases rules litigation: Multiple states and business groups have challenged the EPA's first efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. An appeals court in Washington rejected all the claims but the challengers are seeking Supreme Court review.

- Our Children's Trust litigation: In an ongoing series of cases that have met with little success, lawyers representing the environmental group have sued states and the federal government, demanding that action to battle climate change is an obligation based on a common law doctrine that requires officials to protect certain natural resources. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and Paul Simao)

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