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Honolulu, City and County of v. Sunoco LP

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20027
Nos. 20-cv-00163-DKW-RT, (D. Haw., 02/12/2021) (Watson, J.)

A district court remanded to state court climate liability lawsuits brought by the city and county of Honolulu and the county of Maui against oil companies. The companies argued the suits should remain in federal court because plaintiffs' claims were related to the companies' activities on the outer continental shelf, because the companies acted under the direction of federal officers for decades while engaging in activities related to plaintiffs' claims, and because plaintiffs' claims arose on federal enclaves. The court found that plaintiffs' claims, which targeted the companies' alleged concealment of the dangers of fossil fuels rather than the acts of extracting, processing, and delivering those fuels, did not relate to the companies' activities on the outer continental shelf, under the direction of federal officers, or on federal enclaves because there was no contention that their alleged acts of concealment impacted those spheres. Because there is no basis for federal jurisdiction over plaintiffs' claims, the court remanded the suits to state court.