Drummond and other GOP attorneys general set up red state climate change battle against blue states


Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond was among 19 attorneys general who responded this week to climate lawsuits brought by the states of California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey and Rhode Island against the oil and gas industry.

The Republican attorneys general went to the U.S. Supreme Court and in a motion filed Wednesday, made the argument that the climate liability challenges made by the five Democratic-led states threaten “our basic way of life” and are unconstitutional. Their filing sets up a fight between states and it is a fight, according to E&E News, that can only be decided by the Supreme Court.

“Defendant States assert the power to dictate the
future of the American energy industry. They hope to
do so not by influencing federal legislation or by
petitioning federal agencies, but by imposing ruinous
liability and coercive remedies on energy companies
through state tort actions governed by state law in
state court,” stated Drummond andthe other attorneys general.

Their filing with the Supreme Court argued the five Democratic states want a global carbon tax on the traditional energy industry.

“Citing fears of a climate catastrophe, they seek massive penalties, disgorgement, and injunctive relief against
energy producers based on out-of-state conduct with
out-of-state effects. On their view, a small gas station
in rural Alabama could owe damages to the people of
Minnesota simply for selling a gallon of gas,” they further argued.

The Republican attorneys general contend that if California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey and Rhode Island are right, “their actions imperil access to affordable energy everywhere and inculpate every State and indeed every person on the planet.”

The Oklahoma Attorney General and 18 others said what the five states are attempting to do threatens “not only our system of federalism and equal sovereignty among States, but our basic way of life.”

In further arguments, Drummond and the other GOP attorneys general said the lawsuits filed by the five states “exceed state authority” and usurp federal authority over a federal issue.

“The assertion that Defendant States can regulate, tax, and enjoin the promotion, production, and use of such products beyond their borders—but outside the purview of federal law—threatens profound injury.”