October 2019 seemed to be the month where cities across the United States decided that it was a good time to file suits against oil companies for the “purported evils” they produce in creating the elements of global warming.
This movement, stemming from
a step back by the US Supreme Court in throwing out these cases earlier in
September, is seeing Mayors licking their chops and putting their cities names down
on the list of municipalities “filing suit”.
Now to be totally fair, according to many who speak on this issue, there seems to be no money that will be outlaid by the cities in filing suits. Instead, a hui (group in Hawaiian) of law firms focusing on environmental litigation are lining up to represent these cities pro-bono (a legal firm doing work without charge). They are doing this as a bet that they will be in line for a share of the bucks in a settlement or judgement on the oil companies.
But you can imagine that every mayor that will drag their city into a suit will be creating banners and parading this around. They will do it in order to show their “environmental chops” in hopes that those who are the political class of well-funded progressive liberal, will show some aloha and write cheques to their campaigns.
But let’s go back a second and see if any of this move is really a genuine care of the Earth, or more about self-centered thinking about the next election, or their legacy, etc.
Both Michael Victorino and Kirk Caldwell, Mayors of Maui County and Honolulu County respectively, announced with great fanfare in October that they would file suit against the oil companies for their role in global warming. Their move on this is confusing when you look at how each of their economies (let alone the entire state of Hawaii) are actually fueled.
While there is a great deal of noise is made about solar and windmills, here in Hawaii the vast majority of the power we consume is created through the burning of fossil fuels. A lot of the premise of clean energy is based on the fact that more electric cars as well as mass transport will be electrified, being powered by electricity from powerplants.
The same powerplants that currently burn oil.
Now I understand there is a plan to convert Hawaii into 100% clean energy. But let’s also face another reality that has recently reared its head. That is, there are communities that are pushing back on the idea that every hillside needs a windmill or solar farm. Just look at what is happening in Kahuku with the arrests of the “Kahuku Kia’i” trying to block the way for new windmills to be installed.
My point is that is both counties, by filing suit against the same people that for years they went to and said “can you produce enough energy for (fill in the blank), are they really shooting themselves in the foot?
And if you think that, you might also want to ask yourself if any politician who is promoting filing suit against oil companies to get paid to combat the effects of “global warming”,are really sincere when they tell you that at hyped up press conferences?
Or are they only after the money that comes from towing this line. Because if that is all that this is about – making sure their campaign war-chests are filled with endorsements and money, than is this whole exercise really about the Earth, or about them, and the people behind them looking to get paid.