Michigan plans to sue oil industry over climate change

By Lesley Clark | 05/10/2024 06:16 AM EDT

The state wants to hear from lawyers and law firms that can help get oil companies to pay the costs of responding to climate disasters.

Dana Nessel holds a microphone at a campaign rally.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel speaks at a campaign rally on Oct. 16, 2022, in East Lansing, Mich. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Michigan could be the next state to sue the fossil fuel industry to pay up for contributing to climate change.

State Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said Thursday that her office will begin seeking proposals from lawyers and law firms to serve as special assistants to pursue litigation against oil and gas companies for climate disruption in the state.

“Our ‘Pure Michigan’ identity is under threat from the effects of climate change,” Nessel said in a statement. She added that warmer temperatures are shrinking ski season in the state’s Upper Peninsula and are disrupting blooms at a famed tulip festival.


“Severe weather events are on the rise,” she said, adding that although oil and gas companies were aware of the consequences of burning fossil fuels, they “prioritized profits over people and the environment.”