Teens lawsuit on climate change faces big hurdle

A court hearing is scheduled at 2 p.m. Tuesday. The federal government has tried to get the lawsuit dismissed since it was filed in Oregon in 2015.

Posted: Jun 4, 2019 6:56 AM
Updated: Jun 4, 2019 6:58 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A lawsuit by a group of young people who claim U.S. energy policies are causing climate change and hurting their future faces a major hurdle Tuesday as lawyers for the Trump administration argue to stop the case from moving forward.

Three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are hearing arguments from lawyers for 21 young people and the federal government in Portland and they are not expected to rule right away.

The Obama and Trump administrations have tried to get the lawsuit dismissed since it was filed in Oregon in 2015.

The young people argue that government officials have known for more than 50 years that carbon pollution from fossil fuels was causing climate change and that policies promoting oil and gas deprive them of life, liberty and property.

"It is the constitutional duty of the government to protect public trust resources on which we all depend and to protect us from any damages that it may inflict upon its citizens," said Aji Piper, one of the plaintiffs.

The 18-year-old said smoke from forest fires, diminished snowpack and acidification of the ocean which he says have all increased because of climate change affecting his community in Seattle.

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