The Next State AG Boondoggle

Chris Horner reports that the next mass-state-AG-tort, modeled after their fairly succesful efforts against tobacco companies, will be against oil companies over global warming:

A little birdie recently chirped about some
usual-suspect state attorneys general preparing a litigation strategy
document for/with environmental pressure groups, providing a roadmap
for cooperatively replicating the tobacco litigation of a decade ago in
the "global warming" context, substituting that projected catastrophe
for cancer and "big energy" for tobacco companies.

The point of
such exercise would not be to litigate the matter to conclusion "” ever
more challenging what with forced corrections of the temperature
record, recent exposure of the woeful reliability of our own world's
most reliable surface measuring network, and of course no global
warming in a decade (or, we now know, since 1900 for that matter) "” but
to extract massive settlements from the energy industry to further fund
the trial lawyers, greens and the greens' pet projects. Just imagine
the anti-energy campaign that this model would yield! And at no cost,
really, except to anyone who uses energy and/or invests in these sleepy
"granny stocks". Oh, and the economy.

He goes on to include a copy of the memo making the rounds of the AG offices.   This will certainly be a circus, and generally an expensive time-waster that will just serve to line the pockets of tort lawyers and the politically connected.  If things turn out like the tobacco settlement, the oil companies may jump on board early, since the tobacco settlement has turned into a state-enforced oligopoly for the major tobacco companies.  On the bright side, this might be an opportunity to subpoena the details of a bunch of climate work that is currently kept secret.


  1. Randy in Arizona:

    I think the line from the old Pace salsa commercial sez it best: (in a gruff voice)


  2. Walter E. Wallis, P.E.:

    So double energy prices again.

  3. J:

    According to The Onion, the next logical step was supposed to have been a class-action lawsuit against Big Chocolate.

  4. DLR:

    This situation is a bit different than that of the tobacco companies. When the first AG holds a press conference to serve the oil companies with their summons, they look at the document and say, "It certainly looks like you're saying it's tortious to sell gasoline in your state. Since we don't want to incur any additional liability, we're not going to sell a drop here until the situation is clarified."

    I can anticiate an objection, but how could it be collusion to collectively discuss how to obey the law?