Description: Action by Colorado local governments seeking damages and other relief from fossil fuel companies for climate change harms.
Board of County Commissioners of Boulder County v. Suncor Energy (U.S.A.), Inc.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/17/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Colorado Local Governments Sued Fossil Fuel Companies for Climate Change Damages. Three Colorado local government entities—the City of Boulder and the Boards of County Commissioners of Boulder and San Miguel Counties—filed a lawsuit against fossil fuel companies seeking damages and other relief for the companies’ role in causing climate change. The local governments alleged they already had suffered and incurred expenses to respond to climate change-related harms stemming from increased and more serious heat waves, wildfires, droughts, and floods, and that these harms would worsen over time. They asserted that the defendants—Exxon Mobil Corporation and affiliates of Suncor Energy Inc.—“knowingly and substantially contributed to the climate crisis by producing, promoting and selling a substantial portion of the fossil fuels that are causing and exacerbating climate change, while concealing and misrepresenting the dangers associated with their intended use.” The plaintiffs asserted causes of action for public nuisance, private nuisance, trespass, and unjust enrichment, as well as a claim of deceptive trade practices under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. They asked the court to award them monetary relief as compensation for their past and future damages and for costs to mitigate climate change’s impacts and also sought remediation or abatement of the hazards by “practical means,” though the complaint expressly disclaimed requests to enjoin oil and gas operations or sales, to enforce emissions controls, relief related to injuries on federal lands, or relief based on defendants’ lobbying activities.