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CMTA President opines on lawsuits shaking down CA manufacturers in the name of climate change
Posted by Gino DiCaro
, VP, Communications on March 22, 2018
In an op-ed published by The Sacramento Bee, California Manufacturers & Technology Association President Dorothy Rothrock highlighted California manufacturers’ leading role in tackling the global problem of climate change and how new lawsuits will not help:
California manufacturers are big players in the state’s efforts to address climate change. The largest companies are regulated through a program that will greatly reduce emissions and grow the economy at the same time. The result will be a win-win for jobs and the environment.
Yet the climate liability litigation filed by eight California municipalities against manufacturers are actually discouraging those efforts. These lawsuits stack a large financial burden on manufacturers, businesses and consumers in California, while enriching trial lawyers:
A big payday for the trial attorneys, not a solution to global climate change, is the main motivation for these suits. The attorneys and municipalities don’t care that their lawsuits hurt California’s ambitious climate change policies. . . .
The unjustified lawsuits will add costs to energy manufacturers by forcing them to defend or settle the cases. Those costs will be passed on to consumers, other manufacturers and businesses that depend on fuel for transportation and production. Piling these new costs on top of the reasonable costs related to cap and trade could push production out of state along with their emissions.
Rothrock also highlights the blatant discrepancies between the lawsuits filed by the municipalities and their bond offerings when it comes to climate change risks:
San Mateo County claims that it is “particularly vulnerable” to sea-level rise and that there is a 93 percent it will experience a “devastating” flood before 2050. Marin County is even more certain, calculating a 99 percent risk of a devastating flood before 2050. But contrast that with bond offerings in 2014 and 2016 where investors were told that the county “is unable to predict whether sea-level rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm will occur."
The Manufacturers Accountability Project is leading the national charge on these lawsuits and they are focused on exposing the questionable motives of the trial attorneys, city governments and activists that are involved in targeting manufacturers in the United States.
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