EnergyEnvironmentHot Sheet

Colo. counties, Boulder suing energy companies over climate costs

Author: Mark Harden - April 17, 2018 - Updated: April 17, 2018

Farm Bureau ballot initiative(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Two Colorado counties and the city of Boulder says they expect to spend at least $100 million over the next 30 years dealing with the impacts of climate change caused by fossil fuels — and that’s why they’ve drafted a lawsuit targeting a pair of energy giants that operate in Colorado.

The Denver Business Journal reports that Boulder — along with commissioners in Boulder County and San Miguel County (which includes Telluride) — planned to file the suit Tuesday in Boulder County District Court. (Download the suit here.)

The planned suit names Suncor Energy Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. Canada-based Suncor operates a gasoline refinery in Commerce City; Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil has natural gas rights in western Colorado’s Piceance Basin.

Says Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones:

“Our communities and our taxpayers should not shoulder the cost of climate change adaptation alone. These oil companies need to pay their fair share.”

All this has the head of Colorado’s biggest oil and gas trade group burning up. Dan Haley, CEO of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, tells the Business Journal:

“Oil and natural gas operators should not be subject to liability for doing nothing more than engaging in the act of commerce while adhering to our already stringent state and federal laws.”

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.