Saturday, September 22nd 2012, 8:15 AM EDT
She also said the villagers lacked standing because they could not trace their injury directly to the companies.
CN) - Native Alaskans whose village is teetering on the edge of survival cannot use a federal public-nuisance law to nail energy giants on global warming, the 9th Circuit ruled Friday.
Kivalina is a tiny town on Alaska's northwest coast, located at the tip of a barrier reef some 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Most of the residents are self-governing Inupiat Native Alaskans.
With global warming shrinking the sea ice that once blocked seasonal coastal storms, unchecked waves have eroded the land beneath Kivalina in recent years. The village faces imminent relocation or destruction.
Kivalina as a city and native village sued 22 of the globe's leading energy companies in federal court in Oakland, claiming that ExxonMobil, BP America, Chevron, Conocophillips and others had least partly caused global warming, and thus the town's existential crisis, by emitting greenhouse gases. Kivalina also argued that the energy companies had conspired to create a public nuisance by contributing to global warming and misleading the public about its consquences.
U.S. District Judge Saundra Armstrong dismissed the case, finding the issue best left to Congress and the president. She also said the villagers lacked standing because they could not trace their injury directly to the companies.
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