One of the largest manufacturing lobby groups in the country is leveling a counter-attack against a slew of coastal states suing energy companies for contributing to climate change.
Manufacturers will not take climate lawsuits from New York City and San Francisco lying down, Jay Timmons, the CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), said Monday morning in a speech in Michigan.
“There’s a growing trend, an alliance of activists, plaintiffs’ attorneys and politicians going after manufacturing companies with frivolous, misguided lawsuits,” Timmons said of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent decision to hold Exxon and other companies accountable for global warming.
De Blasio, who blamed fossil fuel providers for Superstorm Sandy, is also pushing for the city’s pension funds to divest from oil companies, which could cost city employees $2.8 billion over two decades, Timmons’ group reported last shortly after the lawsuits were lodged.
“Divestment won’t do anything to cut greenhouse gas emissions. All it does is pass stocks from one shareholder to another,” NAM Vice President Chris Netram said in a press call with reporters shortly after de Blasio announced his legal pursuit of the companies.
Pension boards are ultimately in charge of the decision to divest or not. City Comptroller Scott Stringer will join de Blasio in his call to divest. However, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has historically advocated for the pension funds to remain invested in fossil fuel companies, Politico reports.
Timmons, meanwhile, said Monday at his group’s State of Manufacturing address that the crusades will not unanswered. “The lawyers want to make money; the politicians want to make headlines. At the NAM, we’re not letting this go unchallenged.”
Los Angeles joined San Francisco and Oakland last month in arguing that oil companies should help pay for the cost of addressing rising seas in San Francisco Bay. Two Los Angeles city council members urged the city to fleece fossil-fuel producers to mitigate the effects of global warming.
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