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Bill Lets ‘Victims Of Global Warming’ Sue

From the Washington Times:

Climate bill could trigger lawsuit landslide

Friday, April 10, 2009
Tom LoBianco

Self-proclaimed victims of global warming or those who "expect to suffer" from it – from beachfront property owners to asthmatics – for the first time would be able to sue the federal government or private businesses over greenhouse gas emissions under a little-noticed provision slipped into the House climate bill.

Environmentalists say the measure was narrowly crafted to give citizens the unusual standing to sue the U.S. government as a way to force action on curbing emissions. But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sees a new cottage industry for lawyers.

"You could be spawning lawsuits at almost any place [climate-change modeling] computers place at harm’s risk," said Bill Kovacs, energy lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The bill was written by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat, and Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat

Under the House bill, if a judge rules against the government, new rules would have to be drafted to alleviate the problems associated with climate change. If a judge rules against a company, the company would have to purchase additional "carbon emission allowances" through a cap-and-trade program that is to be created by Congress.

The measure sets grounds for anyone "who has suffered, or reasonably expects to suffer, a harm attributable, in whole or in part," to government inaction to file a "citizen suit." The term "harm" is broadly defined as "any effect of air pollution (including climate change), currently occurring or at risk of occurring."

It would allow citizens to seek up to $75,000 in damages from the government each year, but would cap the total amount paid out each year at $1.5 million, committee staff said. It is unclear whether the provision would actually cap damages at $75,000 per person, because the U.S. law referenced does not establish payouts by the government

Democratic staffers said the measure provides guidance to the courts on how to apply existing Clean Air Act provisions. Private citizens can sue the government based on harm caused by pollutants currently regulated under the Clean Air Act – including nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide – but they lack standing to sue for damages resulting from climate change.

Regulating carbon dioxide has been a hard slog for environmentalists, and some energy analysts say that the Waxman-Markey bill and parallel efforts by the Obama administration constitute a multifaceted attempt to achieve the goal by regulation if legislative attempts fail.

The "citizen suit" would allow people to force government action on climate change, seemingly a redundancy in a bill that would achieve that goal if passed. But environmentalists have been cautious in their tack, arguing that many environmental protections on the books were not vigorously enforced under the Bush administration…

Just what we need.

Our tax dollars being squandered on more frivolous lawsuits.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, April 10th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

17 Responses to “Bill Lets ‘Victims Of Global Warming’ Sue”

  1. proreason says:

    looney tunes

  2. RightWinger says:

    Great! Now I have a reason to sue the Government. I’m sure I can blame Global Warming for the cause of my seasonal allergies and get $75,000 to compensate. At worst, when it’s mid-summer and the popcicle that my daughter is eating, melts and causes me to slip on the ground and get injured…..$ Cha-Ching $.

    I can only bet the slip and fall lawyers are already getting their TV ads ready…….”Are you the victim of Global Warming?”

  3. in_awe says:

    Note that it is not just the fading “global warming” that is covered – it is expansive enough to allow suits for “climate change”. Would someone like to try and define “climate change” for me? Is that snowfall in New Orleans, or hot weather in Southern California in February? How persistent would the affect have to be before one has standing to sue? I see a while new victimization industry forming around this and transfer of wealth mills being planned as we speak.

    • proreason says:

      in_awe: “it is expansive enough to allow suits for “climate change”.

      Using the term “climate change” proves that the whole charade isn’t about global warming at all.

      It’s about government control and power.

      And in this case, it’s also about creating a new boom industry for trial lawyers, as payback for their slavish service to the Democrat party.

  4. Odie44 says:

    Just another day in the fraudulant world of Gore, trial lawyers, Dems and dumb people.

    The only way to currently defeat this tide is to have a high court and/or Supreme Court opine as to the definition of “climate change” in a very narrow scope – to serve as precedence for future lawsuits. It’s a long shot – but I hope some really smart attorneys get their act together and use the system and tactics in place to defeat it. Of course this will take millions of dollars and years of lengthy decisions to come to this conclusion.

    Tort reform is not only long overdue – it is mandatory for America.

  5. pdsand says:

    Complete contempt for the constitution. The legislature only passes the laws, it doesn’t have power to enforce them. So the fact that the executive didn’t enforce them is a good example of constitutional separation of powers. Now it wants to give the judiciary a crack at telling the executive to enforce them a certain way. And of course it’s all specious because the legislature is trying to pass a law placing the weather under its regulatory scope.

  6. BillK says:

    Why is anyone surpised?

    It’s simply another route for the US Government to be able to fund their supporters on the looney left without having to go through groups like ACORN.

    • proreason says:

      yep. “It’s simply another route for the US Government to be able to fund their supporters on the looney left”

  7. caligirl9 says:

    Hey I have asthma! Thirty years now, never smoked tobacco. (And haven’t smoked the other stuff for 30 years!) Does that mean my gov’ment check could be in the mail? May I have some cheese please? And disabled housing for free? And a permanent light rail pass? Or how about a new car without a clutch?

    (I keed! I keed!)

  8. canary says:

    Suing Nancy Pelosi would be easiest. She knew of the climatic damage she was causing. She did not remedy the damage, showing willful intent and negligence.
    Recent trip to Rome which was not a necessity. Obomie’s Valentine Day extravaganza.
    If passed this it would affect nearly every law in existance. No federal, and I believe any state law allows suits on the grounds of an expectation to suffer or be harmed in whole or part. Even if the laws changed that intent was not necessary, the idea of “belief” of harm doesn’t wash. Waxman might update
    the pictures on his site. That ferris wheel and roller coaster near the water. Old gas hog trucks parked. Unnecessary lights burning.

    uh oh. ..cough…sputter.. I. ca.nt…b..re..a..th…ah!..I’m melting!….I’m melting..! /` – .

  9. Squito says:

    If people can sue McDonald’s for their child’s obesity, I wonder what kind of lawsuits we’ll hear about…

    My child couldn’t build a snowman last year! The heat gives me migraines that interfere with work! My winter sports equipment isn’t selling! My boyfriend said I don’t look as great in the summer as I do in winter!

    This is kinda fun…

  10. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    So many idiots of victimhood in this world and just not enough time nor hands to slap some sense into them. Does this bill offer me a loophole to sue the politicians in Washington for raising my blood pressure every time they speak?

  11. U NO HOO says:

    “a new cottage industry for lawyers”

    Bingo, Obama is a lawyer, my bill michelle is a lawyer, farney brank is a lawyer,…hmmmm.

  12. canary says:

    I think we should sue the federal government for allowing the crowding of illegal Mexicans and foreignors resulting in speeding up global warming in the U.S. Not to mention their drug cartel’s shooting at people, makes the heat and smoke from their guns making temps rise. Let’s distribute the warmth, and they can space themselves in their vast land. They can eat their drugs instead of smoking them.
    I think anyone who became scared after watching Al Gores fictional movie should sue him too, even though the movie was fake, it made people think they would die soon.

    • David says:

      I like the were this type of law is going. I can prove beyond a doubt that the federal government wealth redistribution tax levels harm me and my family. The majority of this county has lost massive amount of wealth or jobs because of the direct market manipulation that was used to get Obama elected, lets sue him as well. Maybe we can sue until there is no government left and we can start over…

    • canary says:

      David, I’ve envisioned what it would be like if the entire country just followed suit of the obamocrats, and not pay their taxes for a year.

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