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Minnesota v. American Petroleum Institute

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20057
Nos. 20-1636 (JRT/HB), (D. Minn., 03/31/2021) (Tunheim, J.)

A district court granted a state's motion to remand to state court a climate change lawsuit against oil and gas companies. Minnesota sued the companies in state court under state common law and consumer protection statutes, arguing the companies developed a campaign to deceive the public about the dangers of fossil fuels and to undermine the scientific consensus linking fossil fuel emissions to climate change. The companies removed the suit to federal court, and the state moved to remand back to state court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The court found that states had both "the clear authority and primary competence to adjudicate alleged violations of state common law and consumer protection statutes," and that Minnesota's claims neither explicitly raised federal claims nor fell within one of the exceptions to the well-pleaded complaint rule. It therefore declined to exercise jurisdiction and remanded the suit to state court.