By Karl Mathiesen
9 March 2017
(Climate Change News) – The U.S. administration is seeking a fast-track appeal against a climate change lawsuit brought by 21 young people.
Jeffrey Wood, a temporary Trump appointee at the Justice Department and recently a fossil fuel lobbyist,3 called on the federal court in Oregon to send the case to appeal before evidence was submitted and a ruling made in the initial trial.
A lobbyist for fossil fuel interests until January, Wood said the move would “avoid litigation that is unprecedented in its scope and in its potential to be protracted, expensive, and disruptive to the continuing operation of the United States Government”.
The youths claim that government inaction on climate change has breached their constitutional rights. They are seeking immediate steps to reduce levels of carbon dioxide in the air to 350 parts per million. […]
Lawyers working on behalf of the group of youths, who range in age from 9 to 20-years-old, said the “plaintiffs maintain that their requests are limited, reasonable, and aimed at getting to trial this fall”.
As reported in The Intercept, lobbying disclosure forms show Wood was acting for fossil fuel interests before being appointed as acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department environment division. As recently as January, he worked for Southern Company – which mostly runs gas and coal power stations.
A lawyer representing the youths, Philip Gregory from the law firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, said science, not politics should form the basis of the court’s decision.
“We have always viewed this case as the kids versus the federal government and the fossil fuel industry. Now that the fossil fuel industry has placed its former senior officers and paid consultants in positions of political power, the interests of both the government and the fossil fuel industry are completely aligned. Their political goal is to put oil and gas profits over the future of our country’s posterity,” said Gregory. [more]