Big carbon emitters fighting two wars simultaneously in America

I recently blogged about the EPA's move against major greenhouse gas emitters in the U.S.

I recently blogged about the EPA's move against major greenhouse gas emitters in the U.S. Well, the utilities, industrial air polluters, fossil fuel industry and their allies are fighting another, equally crucial war to maintain their current business models. This attack on Big Energy is led by a small Inuit village in Alaska: Kivalina. The suit names two dozen corporations as defendents. Exxon is honored with the premiere position in the list of defendents. After a three-year legal delay, Kivalina has won a Federal Circuit Court ruling that allows its suit to go forward. The basis of the suit: Kivalina is threatened with extinction by rising sea levels and the blame is placed on major fossil fuel producers and users. Further, legal experts say if this suit continues, utlities and coal companies and other defendents can be forced to testify under oath about the money and efforts they have mustered to encourage public doubt of global warming. One parallel some analysts use: it will be like the tobacco companies forced to admit how they warped and hid evidence that tobacco smoke led to cancer. Here's a photo essay on Kivalina, where some buildings are already being moved and where the Corps of Engineers is working on a new seawall to stop the encroaching waves. One report estimates the cost at moving just three of Alaska's threatened villages would top $400-million. That is the cost of doing nothing about global warming, say those who urge urgent action. The lawsuit defendents will argue the whole thing is simply a natural phenomenon. They have a pending motion in the federal court in Alaska to dismiss this Kivalina lawsuit. It is not clear that members of Congress are aware of the huge implications of this lawsuit. It could leapfrog any efforts in Congress to deal with carbon emissions and global warming. The two federal judges who ruled in favor of Kivalina are Republican appointees, BTW. Kivalina is on the west coast of Alaska, north of the Bering Strait. If Kivalina prevails it will have huge implications for utilities and the coal industry. That will in turn spur much more use of low and zero emission energy sources. Remember when it was OK to smoke cigarettes in the office or restaurants? [poll id="185"]