Climate bill could trigger lawsuit avalanche
Do you “expect to suffer” from global warming? If so, get in line behind the beachfront property owners and asthmatics. For the first time those who anticipate problems will be able to sue the federal government and private businesses over greenhouse gas emissions under a little-noticed provision slipped into the House climate bill.
The narrowly crafted bill written by Democrats Henry Waxman (CA), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Edward Markey (MA), gives citizens unusual standing to sue the U.S. government as a way to force action on curbing emissions. The scare tactics are part of a grander scheme emanating from the left to establish their agenda as mainstream.
The Waxman-Markey proposal, including the lawsuit provision, has recently been released, while the Senate is drafting its own energy bill. Waxman has set an expedited schedule for passing the bill through his committee by Memorial Day. President Obama has stated an energy overhaul bill is one of his top priorities.
The measure sets grounds for anyone “who has suffered, or reasonably expects to suffer, a harm attributable, in whole or in part,” to government inaction, to file a “citizen suit.” The term “harm” is broadly defined as “any effect of air pollution (including climate change), currently occurring or at risk of occurring.”
It would allow citizens to seek up to $75,000 in damages from the government each year, but would cap the total amount paid out each year at $1.5 million.
If you find this difficult to believe, check out the ENFORCEMENT Section 336 beginning on page 527, of the discussion draft of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 for yourself.