The city of Baltimore's lawsuit against a group of 26 major oil companies over their role in climate change will proceed after the Supreme Court rejected the energy giants' request for a stay on Tuesday.
The oil companies had asked for the Supreme Court to intervene after a federal judge ruled that Baltimore's lawsuit could proceed in state court. The companies had sought to move the litigation to federal court in order to avoid potentially expensive litigation.
The group of companies includes BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell.
Baltimore sued the energy giants last year, arguing that the companies are responsible for contributing to climate change and that the city is especially vulnerable to the resulting rise in sea level.
The companies tried to get the case moved out of Maryland's state court system and into federal district court. The district court denied the motion and the oil giants appealed to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Citing multiple similar cases playing out in other states, the energy companies said that without a stay from the Supreme Court, they "would be unable to recover the cost and burdens of duplicative litigation."
The 4th Circuit will hear oral arguments in the appeal in December.