Overnight Energy: Court rejects new effort to stop kids' climate lawsuit | Baltimore is latest city to sue over climate change | EPA staffers worried about toxic chemical in Pruitt's desk

Overnight Energy: Court rejects new effort to stop kids' climate lawsuit | Baltimore is latest city to sue over climate change | EPA staffers worried about toxic chemical in Pruitt's desk
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COURT REJECTS NEW ATTEMPT TO HALT KIDS' CLIMATE SUIT: A federal appeals court blocked the Trump administration's second attempt to halt a lawsuit filed by a group of children over climate change.

The California-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Friday that the lawsuit can go forward.

"We denied the government's first mandamus petition, concluding that it had not met the high bar for relief at that stage of the litigation. No new circumstances justify this second petition, and we again decline to grant mandamus relief," read a court order.

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The suit argues that the Trump administration "violated the youngest generation's constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources" through their climate policies.

Today's ruling was not on the merits of the case, but rather clears the way for an Oct. 29th hearing.

The Trump administration has twice sought to either halt the case or have it thrown out entirely.

The same court ruled against the Trump administration earlier this year after attorneys for the Justice Department argued that the burden for the process of discovery would be overbearing.

Read more here.

 

And in other climate lawsuit news...

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.

"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.

It's a trend: 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.

Read more here.

 

TGIF! Welcome to Overnight Energy, The Hill's roundup of the latest energy and environment news.

Please send tips and comments to Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com, and Miranda Green, mgreen@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @Timothy_Cama, @mirandacgreen, @thehill.

 

PRUITT STAFFERS ONCE WORRIED ABOUT TOXIC CHEMICAL FROM HIS DESK: Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittEnvironmentalists renew bid to overturn EPA policy barring scientists from advisory panels Six states sue EPA over pesticide tied to brain damage Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules MORE's nearly $10,000 office redecoration included the purchase of a desk his staffers feared was contaminated by a toxic chemical.

Email interactions between EPA staffers first reported by Politico on Friday, showed that aides worried about the potential health effects of formaldehyde found in the desk. The fears they raised came just months before the EPA blocked the release of a report highlighting the dangers of formaldehyde exposure in drinking water.

According to the emails released through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to American Oversight, staffers worried about a safety warning placed on the desk from California -- which classifies formaldehyde as a carcinogen.

Staffers were so concerned about the warning that acting deputy chief of staff Reginald Allen reached out to an EPA career official serving as acting head of EPA's toxic chemicals office for advice.

"Sorry to bother you with this but we need some help. The desk the Administrator wants for his office from Amazon has a California Proposition 65 warning. What I am asking is can someone in your area tell us whether it is OK to get this desk for the Administrator related to the warning?" Allen wrote on April 7 to Wendy Cleland-Hamnett and one other career official.

Read more here.

 

ON TAP NEXT WEEK:

The House Natural Resources committee Tuesday will hold an oversight hearing looking into alternative uses of coal.

The House Energy and Commerce committee the same day will explore a discussion draft of a bill that would aim to authorize the Department of Energy to carry out a program to lease underutilized petroleum research facilities for other purposes.

The House Science, Space and Technology committee will have a markup Tuesday of a bill that would direct all assessments on the toxicity of chemicals be carried out by the program offices of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The House Oversight committee's subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment will hold a hearing Tuesday examining the rights to let animals graze on federal land.

The House committee on Natural Resources Wednesday will hold an oversight hearing looking into the management crisis that overwhelmed Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Over on the Senate side on Wednesday, the Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness will examine putting boots on Mars.

 

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:

Appeals court reverses course after EPA denied Ergon - West Virginia, Inc., a small refinery hardship waiver in 2016

North Dakota's Attorney General files $38 million claim to federal government over pipeline protests

Canada's looming tough climate policies face backlash

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out stories from Friday...

-Court rejects new Trump attempt to halt kids' climate lawsuit

-Pruitt staffers worried about toxic chemical in his desk

-Baltimore joins cities filing climate change lawsuits against fossil fuel companies

-Interior fast tracks study of drilling's Arctic impact: report

-Zinke left some details off public calendar: report

-Judge dismisses New York City's climate change lawsuit against oil companies