SCOTUS at it again

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Said the spider to the fly. The US Supreme Court signalled this week interest in hearing a challenge launched by the state of Hawaii against big oil companies. It seems the Aloha State wants to hold Big Oil liable for climate change, and SCOTUS has a thing or two they’d like to say about that, of course.

Previously the Hawaii Supreme Court said they reject Big Oil’s complaint that they should, in effect, be able to destroy the planet in the name of more profit, and everybody should just shut up about it. So the oil companies are doing the obvious: mom said no, so let’s ask dad. And dad is a notorious pushover.

The Hawaii Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, in his opinion rejecting the energy companies’ arguments, wrote, “Defendants knew of the dangers of using their fossil fuel products, ‘knowingly concealed and misrepresented the climate impacts of their fossil fuel products,’ and engaged in ‘sophisticated disinformation campaigns to cast doubt on the science, causes, and effects of global warming,’ causing increased fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, which then caused property and infrastructure damage in Honolulu.”

I hate to be the predictor of bad news, but something tells me that, if SCOTUS hears the case, they’re going to come down on the side of Big Oil. That decision will then hole for any state challenging the oil companies.And SCOTUS will find some very Constitutional rationale for doing so. Or not. Does it really matter? In any case, you can expect a victory for Big Oil in a vote of, oh I dunno, say, 6 to 3? I’m just pulling numbers out of a hat, of course.

Despite the indisputable fact that the six current corrupt radical-right justices on SCOTUS were put where they are by money from Big Oil in the first place, we can expect no recusals. As we have already seen, this current court is notoriously allergic to self-government.

If SCOTUS hears the case, and preliminary rumblings, including a pro forma request to the DOJ’s solicitor general to weigh in, confirms this, it will be another disaster for every living creature on our beleaguered planet. Allowing oil companies to evade responsibility for the irreparable damage they have already done will be one more nail in the planet’s coffin, complements of the MAGA court.

Last week, Rhode Island Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse posted on X, “[t]his captured Court’s delays of and interference in fossil fuel emissions regulations have already saved the polluters hundreds of billions — way more than they spent to capture it. But there is no end to fossil fuel polluters’ greed and entitlement.” Proving once again that corrupt money spent on the court is a very good investment indeed — for the oil companies.

Meanwhile, we have passed the point where it used to be possible to have relatively cool years. When I first joined Palmer Report six years ago, we still had some years that were cooler than the previous ones. Not anymore. From now on each succeeding year will be the hottest in human history. And that trend will continue until we destroy our chances for survival. Unless we do something about it, of course. Until it’s too late to do something about it, of course. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

Important Note: Palmer Report is moving to a reader-supported format with a significantly reduced number of ads so we can reach a broader audience at this crucial time for our democracy. Support us via PayPal and GoFundMe.