The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is about to hear climate lawsuits by Delaware and the city of Hoboken that could increase energy costs and take climate policy out of the hands of federal lawmakers. These cases are part of an effort by two dozen local and state governments to force energy companies to give them money for local climate impacts. If the lawsuits are successful, Americans, who already face elevated energy prices, will see prices go up even more.
The challenge for each of the governments suing is getting around a decade-old ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that rejected attempts to impose liability on energy companies for climate change. In that case, American Electric Power v. Connecticut, the court said climate change policy is a federal and regulatory question—not one for the courts.