U.S. government sued over climate impacts of overseas energy projects

U.S. efforts to find fossil-fuel supplies overseas will create significant climate disruption, harming not only people in those countries but folks at home, according to a lawsuit filed against the federal government by a coalition of green groups and U.S. cities. Ranging from Greenpeace to the city of Oakland, Calif., coalition members want fossil-fuel development projects in developing nations on five continents to be halted while their impacts are assessed under the National Environmental Policy Act. The Bush administration tried to have the suit dismissed, but U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White recently ruled it could proceed. White found that coalition members had shown sufficient evidence that their “concrete interests” are threatened by the projects, and that the risks might be meliorated if the environmental studies are performed. Oakland, for instance, is concerned about future flooding, storm surges, and drought. The Bush administration has not yet decided whether to appeal.