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Baltimore joins cities filing climate change lawsuits against fossil fuel companies

Baltimore joins cities filing climate change lawsuits against fossil fuel companies
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Baltimore on Friday became the latest city to file a lawsuit against oil and gas giants seeking to hold the companies financially responsible for contributing to global climate change.

The city filed a suit challenging BP, Exxon, Shell Oil and 23 other oil and gas giants that do business in the city, accusing the companies of knowingly emitting harmful carbon dioxide pollution.

The lawsuit, which seeks damages and legal penalties from the companies, cites eight alleged offenses including failure to warn the public and public nuisance.

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"The city seeks to ensure that the parties who have profited from externalizing the responsibility for sea level rise, extreme precipitation events, heatwaves, other results of the changing hydrologic regime caused by increasing temperatures, and associated consequences of those physical and environmental changes, bear the costs of those impacts on the city," the lawsuit reads.

Friday's suit is the latest in a string of similar cases –– many of which have been promptly thrown out by courts –– that cities across the U.S. have filed challenging fossil fuel companies for knowingly contributing and profiting off of a product that directly contributes to climate change. 

The suit follows on the heels of a case dismissed by a federal judge in New York on Thursday evening.

U.S. District Judge John Keenan tossed out the suit against Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips, ruling that Congress and the executive branch, not courts, must tackle the issue of climate change.