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US Loses Latest Attempt to Stop Youths’ Climate Change Suit


FILE - The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation's top carbon dioxide emitters, stands in the distance in Juliette, Ga., June 3, 2017. The Trump administration intends to roll back the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama’s efforts to slow global warming, seeking to ease restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. Young activists are suing the government for ignoring climate change.

A federal appeals court on Friday rejected the Trump administration’s renewed bid to dismiss a lawsuit by young activists who say it is ignoring the perils of climate change.

By a 3-0 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the government fell short of the “high bar” needed to dismiss the Oregon case, originally brought in 2015 against the administration of President Barack Obama.

Twenty-one children and young adults accused federal officials and oil industry executives of violating their due process rights by knowing for decades that carbon pollution poisons the environment but doing nothing about it.

The government contended that letting the case proceed would be too burdensome, unconstitutionally pit the courts against the executive branch, and require improper “agency decision-making” by forcing officials to answer questions about climate change.

But the appeals court said the issues raised “are better addressed through the ordinary course of litigation.”

An earlier government bid to end the case failed in March.

The activists, whose ages range from preteen to the early 20s, are seeking various environmental remedies. A trial is scheduled for Oct. 29 in the federal court in Eugene, Oregon.

Representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for the activists did not immediately respond to similar requests.

The case is U.S. et al v U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Eugene, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. No. 18-71928.

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