Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change : Short Wave The Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a case brought by the city of Baltimore against more than a dozen major oil and gas companies including BP, ExxonMobil and Shell. In the lawsuit, BP P.L.C. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, the city government argues that the fossil fuel giants must help pay for the costs of climate change because they knew that their products cause potentially catastrophic global warming. NPR climate reporter Rebecca Hersher has been following the case.

Read Rebecca's digital piece about the Supreme Court case here.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.
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Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

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Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/958456313/959014168" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Cars sit on the edge of a sinkhole in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, as heavy rain moves through the region. Roads closed due to flooding, downed trees and electrical lines elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic. AP hide caption

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Cars sit on the edge of a sinkhole in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, as heavy rain moves through the region. Roads closed due to flooding, downed trees and electrical lines elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic.

AP

The Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a case brought by the city of Baltimore against more than a dozen major oil and gas companies including BP, ExxonMobil and Shell. The city government argued that the fossil fuel giants must pay for the costs of climate change because they knew that their products cause potentially catastrophic global warming.

As NPR climate reporter Rebecca Hersher explains, the Baltimore case is one of more than 20 similar suits brought by cities, states and counties in recent years. The cases make a variety of arguments about why fossil fuel companies bear responsibility for the costs of climate change, including that companies misled the public about the threat burning oil and gas poses to the climate.

If the Supreme Court decides in Baltimore's favor, it would likely pave the way for cases against oil and gas companies to proceed in state courts across the country.

Read Rebecca's digital piece about the Supreme Court case here.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez, edited by Viet Le and fact-checked by Ariela Zebede. Josh Newell was the audio engineer.