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City of Oakland v. BP PLC

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20124
Nos. 18-16663, (9th Cir., 05/26/2020)

The Ninth Circuit vacated and remanded a district court ruling denying San Francisco's and Oakland's motion to remand to state court a lawsuit alleging that oil companies make and sell products that create a public nuisance—sea-level rise—when combusted. The cities argued the district court erred in concluding that it had jurisdiction over the cities' complaints. The appellate court found the cities' public nuisance claim failed to raise a substantial federal question because it neither required an interpretation of a federal statute nor challenged a federal statute's constitutionality, and that the claim was not completely preempted by the CAA. It therefore held the district court erred in concluding that it had jurisdiction over the cities' claim and remanded to the district court to determine whether there was an alternative basis for federal jurisdiction.