Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to stay the city of Baltimore's lawsuit against a group of oil companies it accuses of contributing to climate change.
The high court's decision clears the way for the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to determine whether the case should proceed in state court. The oil companies -- including BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell -- requested the stay, seeking to have various state-level lawsuits moved into federal court to eliminate the "costs and burdens of duplicative litigation."
Baltimore sued 26 fossil fuel companies, holding them responsible for climate change and rising sea levels, which particularly affect the city.
The Center for Climate Integrity welcomed the Supreme Court's decision.
"Oil companies behaved no differently than tobacco and opioid manufacturers. They knew their products would cause catastrophic harm, and instead of doing the right thing, they lied and paid front groups and scientists-for-hire to deceive the public, Congress, and the media. They must be held accountable," said Richard Wiles, executive director of the Center for Climate Integrity.