Anne Arundel County sues fossil fuel firms over climate costs

Anne Arundel County, Maryland, has filed a lawsuit against more than two dozen fossil fuel companies over the costs of dealing with the fallout of climate change.

“The damage inflicted by these companies damages our environment, and creates massive costs that shouldn’t be borne on the backs of our residents,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said in a statement Tuesday.

The lawsuit mentions the “devastating economic and public health impact” that the climate has had on the county, including its 530 miles of coastline.

“Science has showed clearly that carbon emissions are the cause of this climate change,” Pittman added in a news briefing Tuesday. “And there’s a lot of evidence that the leaders of fossil fuel companies were aware of the damage their companies were doing for many years. And rather than shift to green technologies, they paid lobbyists and PR firms to cover up the truth.”

County Attorney Greg Swain said “the complaints are similar” to a lawsuit filed against fossil fuel companies by the City of Annapolis in February. The county is using the same law firm as the city, Swain added.

The lawsuit looks for compensatory and punitive damages, and includes public-nuisance and other claims.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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