Young Climate Activists Press US Court to Force Trump’s Hand
SAN FRANCISCO — Young climate activists who sued the U.S. in 2015 to force changes in government policy said the Trump administration’s actions increase the urgency for the case to go to trial.
“Another six months have passed without decision,” the youths said in a filing in the San Francisco federal appeals court this weekend, “while defendants continue to act in ways that further endanger plaintiffs’ lives, liberties, and property, as supported by additional, new evidence.”
The administrations of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump have repeatedly sought to kill the case, arguing the courts lack the authority to direct the executive branch to develop a comprehensive plan to cut greenhouse gas-emissions across the U.S. economy. A trial might take as long as four months, which would help keep attention on climate change through the 2020 elections.
The court put the case on a fast-track schedule in January and a three-judge panel signaled at a hearing in June that it agrees the government hasn’t done enough to address climate change. But the judges voiced uncertainty about whether courts can force broad action.
The plaintiffs, who include University of Oregon student Kelsey Juliana, argue that the U.S. has violated a constitutional right to a livable climate over the last five decades.
In the latest filing, they submitted government documents that they say show a record expansion in recent years of oil and gas exploration and production on federal lands, as well as a marked increase in coal extraction.
Climate activism got a boost this year from Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who inspired millions of students to speak out on the issue, scolded world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly and mocked taunts by Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The case is Juliana v. United States, 18-36082, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (San Francisco). The lower-court case is Juliana v. U.S.A., 15-cv-01517, U.S. District Court, District of Oregon (Eugene).
©2019 Bloomberg News
Visit Bloomberg News at www.bloomberg.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
Efforts to speedily develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. won't be derailed by a change in administration, said the head of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's program aimed at accelerating a COVID-19 jab. "All decisions are made, the train is running. Whether one administration... Read More
MILWAUKEE — Joe Biden made his case Thursday for a major course correction in America as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination, forcefully indicting the Trump administration as he laid out a vision to reunify the nation and restore competence and decency to the White House.... Read More
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump scored a tactical victory from the Supreme Court that will likely keep his personal financial records out of public view through the November election, but he framed Thursday’s two rulings as a loss imposed by his enemies. The president was rebuffed... Read More
SEATTLE — When a mysterious virus began racing around the globe early this year, scientists at the University of Washington’s newly created Center for an Informed Public described it as the perfect storm for bogus information, both innocent and malicious. So what’s the situation six months... Read More
Proxy voting has been extended through mid-August in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday. House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving, in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician, notified Pelosi that the public health emergency due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic remains ongoing. “I... Read More
WASHINGTON – A group of influential Democratic Senators are urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deny a confirmation vote of President Donald Trump’s nominee for a vacant United States appeals court seat. The legislators appealed to McConnell in a letter after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved... Read More