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Boulder Criticized For Lawsuit Against Energy Companies

DENVER (CBS4) - Critics are questioning the motives behind a lawsuit filed by the City of Boulder against two giant energy companies.

Boulder City Council approved pursuing the lawsuit earlier this year. It alleges that ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy are responsible for "billions of tons of the excess greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere."

The 109-page complaint requests more than $100-million for compensation to cover the costs related to climate change damages.

(credit CBS)

Some of Colorado's biggest employers are blasting Boulder for the lawsuit because it compares the oil and gas companies to the tobacco industry.

Energy In Depth is an arm of the Independent Petroleum Association. It's launched a digital ad campaign to push back against the suit. At least two other groups are joining the efforts to oppose the lawsuit.

(credit CBS)

"I'm not sure how to quantify these types of claims in a traditional way and award monetary damages," said Representative Cole Wist, a republican from Centennial. "Is the objective of the lawsuit to accomplish a political message or to send political message, or is the objective here to really effectuate some change, and I'm not sure what that change is. I've read the 109-page complaint and I don't get it."

Wist went on to say that a lawsuit like the one Boulder is pursuing could hinder productive conversation on climate change.


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