This story is reprinted with permission from Honolulu Civil Beat.
A City and County of Honolulu effort to hold oil companies accountable for climate change impacts that threaten Oahu overcame a major legal obstacle last month.
Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Crabtree ruled in favor of the city amid an attempt by Chevron, Sunoco, ExxonMobil, and other defendants to dismiss the lawsuit. The move is a key step in allowing the case to proceed to trial.
“This is an unprecedented case for any court, let alone a state court trial judge,” Crabtree wrote in his ruling.
The Honolulu Board of Water Supply filed the state court case in 2020 with the help of Sher Edling, a national firm that is pursuing similar cases across the country.
The plaintiffs argue that the fossil fuel industry engaged in a decades-long campaign of deception to discredit climate science and sow doubt in the mind of the public that fossil fuel production was harming the planet. And now, the lawsuit complaint says, the public is paying the price.
Because of climate change, Oahu will experience rising sea levels, flooding, ero... Read more