Colorado judge advances climate lawsuit against oil companies

By Lesley Clark | 06/25/2024 06:19 AM EDT

Industry lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to quash cases like Boulder’s, which ask fossil fuel producers to pay for climate change.

A pump jack works.

A pump jack working near Firestone, Colorado, in 2016. David Zalubowski/AP

A Colorado judge has brought another climate lawsuit against fossil fuel companies a step closer to trial.

In a ruling issued Friday, Boulder County District Court Judge Robert Gunning said that a lawsuit filed by the city and county of Boulder against oil majors Exxon Mobil and Suncor Energy does not — as the companies contend — attempt to regulate emissions or stomp on the energy industry’s First Amendment rights.

Gunning rejected claims from Exxon and Suncor that Boulder’s climate liability case is an attempt to use Colorado law “to control the worldwide activity of companies that play a crucial role in virtually every sector of the global economy.”


The judge wrote that Boulder is not calling on the court to regulate or limit greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.