The Big Apple is taking Big Oil to court over a matter that one legal expert says constitutes an "abuse of the court system."
New York City is suing BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell, saying they contributed to global warming. According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City is seeking billions of dollars to recoup money spent by the city for resiliency efforts related to climate change.
"This is a pure political stunt," responds Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow for The Heritage Foundation. "It is a frivolous and meritless lawsuit. In particular, they're suing over an unproven scientific theory, which is frankly not what the courts are for."
A spokesman for Shell said as much to The Associated Press.
Spakovsky continues: "The idea that a company or individuals or anyone else could be sued because they take a particular view on a scientific theory – I mean, that's like taking us back to the Inquisition.
"It's an abuse of the court system – and ... this case should not only be dismissed, but sanctions should then be awarded to the defendants in this case against the city for wasting the court's time with this kind of lawsuit."
OneNewsNow ask if it's possible that New York City is trying to get a judge's ruling to confirm alleged "global warming."
"I'm sure that is part of it, but the other thing going on here is that places like New York and elsewhere are announcing that they're going to divest themselves in their pension funds of any stock or ownership of oil and other companies," he answers.
"If I was someone receiving a pension in New York, I would sue the city because they have a fiduciary duty to make the best investments possible – and it's clear that politics is influencing their investment decisions, not what is best for their shareholders, stockholders and the pensioners."
Similar lawsuits have been filed by state attorneys general, but Spakovsky points out none of them have been successful.