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. …
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.
The $1.5 million cap reflects a compromise reached with House Republicans in a 2007 version of the measure introduced by Mr. Waxman, committee staff said. Mr. Waxman and Mr. Markey wrote the measure into a broader climate plan introduced last week, although it was left out of a bill summary that committee staff provided at the time.
Beware of fake posts which seem to be from real people but which are actually from advertising firms paid by oil companies. Believe what you want, but meanwhile, back down here on Earth, an ice bridge the size of Jamaica in the Antarctic has just snapped from melting.