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Rhode Island v. Shell Oil Products Co., L.L.C.

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20245
Nos. 19-1818, (1st Cir., 10/29/2020)

The First Circuit affirmed a district court order remanding to state court Rhode Island's climate change lawsuit against several oil companies. The companies argued that the suit was properly removed to federal court because the state's complaint presented a federal question. The district court found no subject matter jurisdiction under the federal-officer removal statute and remanded the suit to state court. The appellate court found no nexus between anything for which Rhode Island sought damages—damage to the environment and engagement in a misinformation campaign about the climate effects of the companies' products—and anything the companies allegedly did at the behest of a federal officer—contracts concerning extraction, not distribution or marketing, and only activities on naval bases. It therefore affirmed the district court's remand.