The Global Warming Church must be getting impatient. Cap and tax won’t happen any time soon. So instead of just waiting to legislate, today's WSJ writes, they litigate:
A group of 12 Gulf Coast residents whose homes were damaged by Katrina are suing 33 energy companies for greenhouse gas emissions that allegedly contributed to the global warming that allegedly made the hurricane worse. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and seven state AG allies plus New York City are suing American Electric Power and other utilities for a host of supposed eco-maladies. A native village in Alaska is suing Exxon and 23 oil and energy companies for coastal erosion.
What nerve. Build a house near the ocean in a hurricane zone. Then when there’s a storm, blame carbon-emitting firms. But these lawsuits do bully ahead.
"My hope is that the court case will provide a powerful incentive for polluters to be reasonable and come to the table and seek affordable and reasonable reductions," Mr. Blumenthal told the trade publication Carbon Control News.
I bet he wants them to “come to the table” so that they will give him campaign contributions that match those he gets from trial lawyers. We asked Blumenthal’s office for a comment on that, but they ignored the trial-lawyer money question. Instead, they sent this from Blumenthal:
"My hope is that the companies and Congress will do the right thing, recognizing global warming is incontrovertible fact and acting to curb greenhouse gas pollution … [The utilities companies] are contemplating changes in their conduct, trending toward compliance rather than defiance, which is the good news that both the Journal and this blog miss."
If these cases succeed, much of America will be in court, all the time.
... [T]he courts would become a venue for a carbon war of all against all. Not only might businesses sue to shackle their competitors—could we sue the New York Times for deforestation?—but judges would decide the remedies against specific defendants. In practice this would mean ad hoc command-and-control regulation against any industries that happen to catch the green lobby's eye.
Blumenthal is not new to this game. The Connecticut AG ha partnered with his parasitic trial lawyer friends for years, pushing expensive, politically-driven lawsuits against tobacco companies and gun makers. His involvement in the nationwide tobacco settlement allowed him to steer $65 million to his allies, including his own former law firm.
It’s joked that AG stands for “aspiring governor.” I’d worry about that being Blumenthal’s next step, but attorneys general, partnering with private lawyers, probably do even more damage to consumers.