Oil Companies, should they Pay?
Oil, we use it in our every day lives. Whether it is to get to work, go on a vacation or to fix a squeaky door hinge, it us a very prevalent in our modern era. The question though that many people ask now days is, what are the effects that these companies are having our cities, countries or even the world. It has been made very clear over the last few years that climate change is becoming a stronger concern for individuals all across the plant and what should be done to prevent further damage or at least keep the damage to a minimal amount. Well a recent group in Colorado state have tried to take those action into there own hands. They are suing the Canadian company Suncor for climate impacts they feel the company is having on them. Is this the right thing to do or is this another cancel culture of present day not looking into the future impacts that it could have?
Climate change is the main reason that Boulder Country, San Miguel Country, and the City of Boulder have all filed a lawsuit against Suncor. They say that the amount of gases that are produced by this company needs to look after. They say that Suncor should pay for the environmental impact that they have had on there comminutes. They estimate that “it will take 100 million dollars over the next three decades to deal with the climate change”. To this point most of the lawsuits that have been filed against corporations like Suncor are coastal areas due to the rising of sea levels. However, these Colorado cities say they are feeling the negative effects of climate change, too, namely when it comes to snow loss. The lawsuit claims, “that fossil fuel combustion was causing a dramatic rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere," which causes "significant temperature changes" and "dramatic climatic changes." Because of the increase in temperature, there is dwindling snowpack in the state, which is vital for Colorado's agriculture, water supply and $5 billion ski industry.
The lawsuit comes after several U.S municipal governments, names near costal
areas, pursue action against oil companies for allegedly contributing to
climate change. The lawsuit is not aimed to stop or regulate production of
fossil fuels in Colorado. They are asking companies instead to help with cost
to the environment for there, “reckless and negligent conduct”. These costs
would include cost related to damages from wildfires, flood control efforts,
healthcare expenses and loss of land value. The Three areas also claim that
Suncor knew bout the environmental effect it would have with its crude oil 50
years ago. Suncor isn’t he only company that is being targeted Exxon Mobile is
as well. When asked about the lawsuit Suncor did not respond, but Exxon’s
spokesman Scott Silvestri simply stated, “"Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
is a global issue and requires global participation and actions, lawsuits like
this — filed by trial attorneys against an industry that provides products we
all rely upon to power the economy and enable our domestic life — simply do not
Suncor's Building in Calgary Alberta
Finley, Bruce. “Suncor's Hydrogen-Cyanide Emissions Exceeded Permit Last Year; Colorado Now Weighing Refinery's Request to Increase Limit.” , The Denver Post, 28 May 2019, www.denverpost.com/2019/05/26/suncor-refinery-emissions-colorado/.
Grandoni, Dino. “Analysis | The Energy 202: The Supreme Court Will Hear a Climate Change Case next Year.” , WP Company, 5 Oct. 2020, www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/10/05/energy-202-supreme-court-will-hear-climate-change-case-next-year/.
N, A /. “Colorado Communities Launch Lawsuit against Suncor, Exxon Claiming Climate Change Damages | CBC News.” , CBC/Radio Canada, 18 Apr. 2018, www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/colorado-suncor-exxon-lawsuit-climate-change-1.4624827.
N, A /. “Colorado Counties Sue Exxon, Suncor Over Climate Change.” , U.S. News & World Report, 2019, www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-04-18/colorado-counties-sue-exxon-suncor-over-climate-change.
National Geographic Society, . “Global Warming.” , 27 Mar. 2019, www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/global-warming/.