• Supreme Court Issues Decision in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut Clean Air Act Displaces Federal Common Law Claims Concerning Climate Change
  • June 27, 2011 | Authors: Patricia T. Barmeyer; Ashley C. Parrish; Tracie J. Renfroe; Cynthia A.M. Stroman
  • Law Firms: King & Spalding LLP - Atlanta Office ; King & Spalding LLP - Houston Office ; King & Spalding LLP - Washington Office ; King & Spalding LLP - Houston Office ; King & Spalding LLP - Washington Office
  • Today, the Supreme Court issued a decision rejecting an attempt to hold private companies liable in tort for greenhouse gas emissions alleged to contribute to global climate change. In an 8-0 decision, the Court held that federal common law nuisance claims for climate change impacts are displaced by the Clean Air Act’s delegation of authority to EPA to decide whether and how to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The Court remanded the question of whether a state law-based nuisance action could proceed. Climate change-related tort litigation under nuisance was dealt a significant blow leaving open the question whether state law nuisance remedies can support these unwieldy and unprecedented claims.