Marin County Sues Big Oil for Climate Damages

Jul 21, 2017

NOAA’s Coastal Sea Level Rise Viewer projection of a 2 foot sea level rise impact (light blue) on Marin County, and densely populated eastern Marin in particular


As just reported in the Mercury News, two Bay Area counties sued 37 oil, gas and coal companies Monday, including Chevron, Exxon, and Shell, asserting the companies knew their fossil fuel products would cause sea level rise and coastal flooding but failed to reduce their greenhouse gas pollution.

The lawsuit was part of a coordinated litigation attack by Marin, San Mateo County and the city of Imperial Beach.

The lawsuit, filed in Marin County Superior Court, alleges that “major corporate members of the fossil fuel industry, have known for nearly a half century that unrestricted production and use of their fossil fuel products create greenhouse gas pollution that warms the planet and changes our climate.”

The suit goes on to say that even though the fossil fuel companies knew there was a narrow window to take action before consequences would be irreversible, they engaged in a ‘coordinated, multi-front effort” to “discredit the growing body of publicly available scientific evidence and persistently create doubt.’

“Sea level rise is here and we’re experiencing it first hand in Marin, as roadways continually flood with king tides and storms,” Marin Supervisor Kate Sears said in a statement.

Potential Mill Valley flooding around Camino Alto, between East Blythdale and Miller Avenues

According to an assessment of Marin’s vulnerability to sea level rise completed in June, more than 12,000 homes, businesses and institutions could be at risk from tides and surge flooding by the year 2100.

Sears said, “The cost of trying to protect them and the human anguish over those that will be lost, will be shocking and crippling.”

Read the full article HERE.