Climate change lawsuit by 21 youths takes big step forward

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The federal government and big energy companies have lost an important round in their effort to block a climate change lawsuit by young plaintiffs who contend the U.S. is failing to protect them from the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin in Eugene, Ore., on Friday rejected motions by the U.S. government and trade groups representing the energy companies to dismiss the lawsuit by 21 plaintiffs ages 8 to 19.

A U.S. District Court judge has the final say over whether the lawsuit will proceed to trial.

The plaintiffs contend the release of dangerous carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere is a violation of their constitutional rights. They want the U.S. government to be forced to create a plan that would significantly cut the emissions.