Supreme Court Sounds Death Knell for Climate Change Claims Based on Federal Common Law Nuisance

In a decision firmly shutting the federal floodgates, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that federal common law nuisance claims cannot be brought against utilities for their greenhouse gas emissions. In the closely-watched case American Electric Power v. Connecticut, the Court ruled 8-0 that the federal Clean Air Act “displaces” the federal common law cause of action, which to date has been one of the primary avenues for tort claims arising out of greenhouse gas emissions.

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