Good news and bad news on recent appeals court ruling
A federal appeals court has ruled that an Alaskan village can't sue several power companies for coastline damage it says was caused by global warming.
The residents of Kivalina are a federally recognized tribe. They sued two dozen companies in 2008, alleging public nuisance on the parts of the defendants. They said climate change has resulted in the erosion of their island.
And the bad news:
The Friday decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court's ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act displaces claims made by the village of Kivalina.
"The Supreme Court has already determined that Congress has directly addressed the issue of domestic greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources and has therefore displaced federal common law," he wrote.
That decision came in a multistate lawsuit known by the court as American Electric Power Company v. Connecticut. It was decided by a unanimous vote on June 20, 2011, that the EPA is responsible for enforcing the Clean Air Act.