Cases & Deals

Xcel Energy obtains Ninth Circuit affirmation of dismissal of global warming claims

Client(s) Xcel Energy Inc.

On September 21, 2012, the Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal of the federal common law public nuisance claims brought against Jones Day client Xcel Energy Inc. and numerous other energy companies by the Native Village of Kivalina, Alaska. Plaintiffs, which are the governing bodies of the village located on the northwest coast of Alaska, claim that global warming is destroying their village. Plaintiffs seek to recover the costs of relocating the village, estimated to be from $95 million to $400 million. The Ninth Circuit held that the Supreme Court's decision last year in AEP v. Connecticut, in which Jones Day also represented Xcel, compelled the conclusion that Plaintiffs' federal common law claims were displaced by Congress' delegation to EPA in the Clean Air Act of regulatory authority to address greenhouse gases.

Native Village of Kivalina and City of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corporation, et al., No. CV-08-1138SBA (N.D. Cal.); Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., No. 09-17490 (9th Cir., Sept. 21, 2012)