Sorry Tom Steyer, you can’t sue your way to climate policy

Climate change is a vital issue, and we should all expect our elected officials and duly appointed expert regulators to develop and execute appropriate public policy that serves the public interest.

Exactly how that should be done is the subject of great dispute and controversy. Some believe that any and all activities that do or could harm the environment should be all but eliminated. Others put a far greater emphasis on the impact of regulation and mitigation on our economy and prospects for growth. Reasonable people can, and do, disagree about these issues.

Furthermore, these probes into and cases against energy companies are highly political. Louisiana Gov. John Bell Edwards hired generous campaign donors to manage his state’s mounting coastal lawsuits against the energy industry. Those lawyers will reap a windfall, while the state plans to use the proceeds to close a budget deficit. Now-former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who recently resigned in disgrace, and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey utilize these ploys for influence with wealthy megadonors whispering directives in their ears…


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