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United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
January 25, 2022, Argued; April 7, 2022, Decided
FLOYD, Senior Circuit Judge:
This appeal returns to us on remand from the Supreme Court, and we are now tasked with examining the entirety of the district court's remand order to determine if the climate-change lawsuit in question was properly removed to federal court. BP P.L.C. v. Mayor & City Council of Balt., 141 S. Ct. 1532, 1538, 1543, 209 L. Ed. 2d 631 (2021). To accomplish that charge, we must evaluate eight distinct grounds for removal that twenty-six multinational oil and gas companies (Defendants)1 maintain provide federal jurisdiction over the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore's (Baltimore) climate-change action. Because we conclude that none of Defendants' bases for removal permit the exercise of federal jurisdiction, we affirm the district court's remand order.
In July 2018, Baltimore filed suit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City against Defendants. According to Baltimore, Defendants substantially contributed to greenhouse-gas pollution, global warming, and climate change by extracting, producing, promoting, refining, marketing, distributing, and selling fossil-fuel products (i.e., coal, oil, and natural gas). Baltimore asserts that Defendants deceived consumers and the public about the dangers associated with their fossil-fuel products when they knew, for nearly fifty years, of a direct link between their products and climate-change threats. With that knowledge, as Baltimore alleges, Defendants (1) employed a "coordinated, multi-front effort to conceal and deny their own knowledge of those threats"; (2) discredited "publicly available scientific evidence"; and (3) created persistent doubt within the public sphere about the "reality and consequences of the impacts of their fossil[-]fuel pollution." J.A. 43. But that is not all. Baltimore's Complaint emphasizes that Defendants' other actions also contributed to climate change and Baltimore's own harms: "Defendants individually and collectively manufactured, promoted, marketed, and [*11] sold a substantial percentage of all fossil[-]fuel products ultimately used and combusted." J.A. 139 (emphasis added).
Resulting from Defendants' collective conduct, Baltimore avers it has suffered "climate[-]change-related injuries," including "sea level rise and associated impacts, increased frequency and severity of extreme precipitation events, increased frequency and severity of drought, increased frequency and severity of heat waves and extreme temperatures, and consequent social and economic injuries associated with those physical and environmental changes . . . ." J.A. 92, 140-41 (emphasis added). Within Baltimore's boundaries, these environmental events have purportedly caused, among other things, infrastructure damage during floods, automobile accidents and power outages when winter storms hit, and public-health illnesses amid heat waves.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 9409 *; 52 ELR 20044; __ F.4th __; 2022 WL 1039685
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF BALTIMORE, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. BP P.L.C.; BP AMERICA, INC.; BP PRODUCTS NORTH AMERICA, INC.; CROWN CENTRAL LLC; CROWN CENTRAL NEW HOLDINGS LLC; CHEVRON CORP.; CHEVRON U.S.A. INC.; EXXON MOBIL CORP.; EXXONMOBIL OIL CORPORATION; CITGO PETROLEUM CORP.; CONOCOPHILLIPS; CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY; PHILLIPS 66; MARATHON OIL COMPANY; MARATHON OIL CORPORATION; MARATHON PETROLEUM CORPORATION; SPEEDWAY LLC; HESS CORP.; CNX RESOURCES CORPORATION; CONSOL ENERGY, INC.; CONSOL MARINE TERMINALS LLC; SHELL PLC; SHELL USA, INC. Defendants — Appellants and LOUISIANA LAND & EXPLORATION CO.; PHILLIPS 66 COMPANY; CROWN CENTRAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION. Defendants.CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS; NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONVENIENCE STORES; SOCIETY OF INDEPENDENT GASOLINE MARKETERS OF AMERICA; ENERGY MARKETERS OF AMERICA; ENERGY POLICY ADVOCATES; STATE OF INDIANA; STATE OF ALABAMA; STATE OF ALASKA; STATE OF ARKANSAS; STATE OF GEORGIA; STATE OF KANSAS; STATE OF KENTUCKY; STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; STATE OF MONTANA; STATE OF NEBRASKA; STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA; STATE OF TEXAS; STATE OF UTAH; STATE OF WYOMING, Amici Supporting Appellant. NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES; U. S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS; INTERNATIONAL MUNICIPAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION; PUBLIC CITIZEN, INC.; SHELDON WHITEHOUSE; EDWARD J. MARKEY; STATE OF MARYLAND; STATE OF CALIFORNIA; STATE OF CONNECTICUT; STATE OF NEW JERSEY; STATE OF NEW YORK; STATE OF OREGON; STATE OF RHODE ISLAND; STATE OF VERMONT; STATE OF WASHINGTON; MARIO J. MOLINA; MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER; BOB KOPP; FRIEDERIKE OTTO; SUSANNE C. MOSER; DONALD J. WUEBBLES; GARY GRIGGS; PETER C. FRUMHOFF; KRISTINA DAHL; NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL; ROBERT BRULLE; CENTER FOR CLIMATE INTEGRITY; CHESAPEAKE CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK; JUSTIN FARRELL; BEN FRANTA; STEPHAN LEWANDOWSKY; NAOMI ORESKES; GEOFFREY SUPRAN; UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS; SCHOLARS OF FOREIGN RELATIONS AND FEDERAL COURTS; STATE OF DELAWARE; STATE OF HAWAI"I; STATE OF MAINE; STATE OF MINNESOTA; STATE OF NEW MEXICO; COMMONWEALTH OF MINNESOTA; DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Amici Supporting Appellee.
Prior History: [*1] On Remand from the Supreme Court of the United States. (S. Ct. No. 19-1189).
Mayor of Baltimore v. BP P.L.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97438, 2019 WL 2436848 (D. Md., June 10, 2019)
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