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Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil

With lawsuits against 26 companies, the city joins other U.S. cities and states that have gone to court for climate reparations.
Water from the flooded Jones Falls rushes past offices in Baltimore in April 2014.
Water from the flooded Jones Falls rushes past offices in Baltimore in April 2014. AP

The tide of climate litigation is rising. On Friday, the City of Baltimore announced lawsuits against 26 oil and gas companies for damages their fossil-fuel products—and the climate change they’ve compelled—have inflicted on the city.

“For 50 years, these companies have known their products would cause rising seas and the other climate change-related problems facing Baltimore today,” Solicitor Andre Davis said in a press conference on July 20. “They could have warned us. They could have taken steps to minimize or avoid the damage. In fact, they had a responsibility to do both, but they didn’t, and that’s why we are taking them to court.”