Case Law Index Climate Change

January 1, 2002 – January 1, 2020


This index provides a comprehensive though not necessarily exhaustive compilation of reported and unreported federal and state court decisions involving Climate Change that were decided between the dates listed above. The cases are listed in reverse chronological order.The “Text” link goes to the freely available Google Scholar text of the opinion.  These listings are for educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for legal counsel.


Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007) (Clean Air Act authorizes EPA to regulate greenhouse gases)  Text

Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715, 126 S. Ct. 2208 (2006) (Expanding upon what constitutes jurisdictional waters under the Clean Water Act) Text


Citizens of the Karst, Inc. v. United States Army Corps of Eng’rs, 160 F. Supp. 3d 451 (D.P.R. 2016) (Clean Water Act notice violation) Text

Ophir v. City of Boston, 647 F.Supp.2d 86 (D. Mass. 2009) (federal law preempted local ordinance requiring taxis to switch to hybrids)  Text

Lincoln-Dodge, Inc. v. Sullivan, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94618 (D.R.I. 2008) (Clean Air Act jurisdiction and enforceability) Text

Green Mountain Chrysler Plymouth Dodge Jeep v. Crombie, 508 F. Supp. 2d 295 (D. Vt. 2007) (denying motion to exclude testimony of climate change expert)  Text

Reilly v. EPA, 429 F. Supp.2d 335 (D. Mass. 2006) (mercury emissions cap and trade program under the CAA)  Text


Vermonters for a Clean Env’t, Inc. v. Madrid, 73 F. Supp. 3d 417 (D. Vt. 2014) (challenging a record of decision to install a wind farm in a national park) Text

Connecticut v. Am. Elec. Power Co., 582 F.3d 309 (2d Cir. 2009) (common law public nuisance claim for global warming)  Text

Korsinsky v. EPA, 192 F. App’x 71 (2d Cir. 2006) (claims of injury from global warming too speculative)

Natural Res. Def. Council v. Mineta, No. 04 Civ.5380(VM)(RLE), 2005 WL 1075355 (S.D.N.Y. May 3, 2005) (standing to challenge compliance with CAFE standards)

Korsinsky v. EPA, No. 05 Civ. 859(NRB), 2005 WL 2414744 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 29, 2005) (claim of global warming as a public nuisance; federal and state agencies contributed to global warming)

Connecticut v. Am. Elec. Power Co., 406 F. Supp. 2d 265 (S.D.N.Y. 2005) (dismissing suit for the abatement of public nuisance of global warming)   Text


Clean Air Council v. United States, 362 F. Supp. 3d 237 (E.D. Pa. 2019) (whether executive branch can be held liable for rollback of environmental law)


Blue Water Balt., Inc. v. Wheeler, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47689 (D. Md. 2019) (EPA denial of stormwater discharge contribution) Text

South Carolina v. United States, 221 F. Supp. 3d 684 (D.S.C. 2016) (Violation of nucear storage requirements) Text

Mirant Potomac River, LLC v. EPA, 577 F.3d 223 (4th Cir. 2009) (cap and trade program; challenging Virginia’s SIP for nonattainment area)  Text

Audubon Naturalist Soc’y of the Cent. Atl. States, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Transp., 524 F. Supp. 2d 642 (D. Md. 2007) (not arbitrary and capricious to conclude that mitigation for climate change not needed for single stretch of highway)  Text


Gulf Restoration Network v. Jackson, 224 F. Supp. 3d 470 (E.D. La. 2016) (Attempt to require the EPA to enforce the Clean Water Act) Text

Comer v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., 839 F. Supp. 2d 849 (S.D. Miss. 2012) (standing to bring common law nuisance claim for cause of global warming) Text

Comer v. Nationwide Mut. Ins., No. 1:05 CV 436 LTD RHW, 2006 WL 1066645 (S.D. Miss Feb. 23, 2006) (claims of property damage as a result of global warming)


Stephens v. Koch Foods, LLC, 667 F. Supp. 2d 768 (E.D. Tenn. 2009) (Whether civilian-led enforcement of the Clean Water Act has standing) Text

LeBlanc v. EPA, No. 08-3049, 310 F. App’x 770 (6th Cir. 2009) (denying petition to review EPA permit for injection well for limited test of CO2 sequestration)


California v. United States EPA, 385 F. Supp. 3d 903 (N.D. Cal. 2019) (whether States have standing when the EPA fails to meet its enforcing duties and how long does the EPA have to complete its nondiscretionary duties) Text

L.A. Waterkeeper v. Pruitt, 320 F. Supp. 3d 1115 (C.D. Cal. 2018) (forcing EPA to complete its enforcement duties listed under the Clean Water Act) Text

Rocky Mt. Farmers Union v. Corey, 730 F.3d 1070 (9th Cir. 2013) (holding that greenhouse gas limitations on fuel is not facially discriminatory nor in violation of the commerce clause) Text

Alliance for Wild Rockies v. Lyder, No. CV 09-73-M-DWM, 2010 WL 3023652 (D. Mont. July 28, 2010) (identifying critical habitats for Canada lynx)  Text

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Goldstene, — F.Supp.2d —-, 2010 WL 2490999 (E.D. Cal. 2010) (challenge to Global Warming Solutions Act)  Text

Western Watersheds Project v. U.S. Forest Service, No. 09-0629-E-BLW, 2010 WL 1816254 (D. Idaho May 04, 2010) (failure to follow NEPA for noxious weeds and global warming)  Text

Sierra Club v. City & Cnty. of Honolulu, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64262 (D. Haw. Aug. 18, 2008) (Violation of Clean Water Act by discharging pollutants into waterways) Text

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne, 588 F.3d 701 (9th Cir. 2009) (standing to challenge the taking of polar bears)  Text

Native Vill. of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., 663 F.Supp.2d 863 (N.D. Cal. 2009) (political question; standing; common law nuisance claim caused global warming)  Text

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Office of Mgmt. & Budget, 625 F. Supp. 2d 885 (N.D. Cal. 2009) (FOIA request on light truck CAFE standards)  Text

W. Watersheds Project v. Salazar, No. 08-0516-E-BLW, 2009 WL 1299626 (D. Idaho May 7, 2009) (EIS for resource management plan did not take into account cumulative effects on climate change)  Text

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Office of Mgmt. & Budget, No. C 07-4997 MHP, 2008 WL 5129417 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 4, 2008) (FOIA request for documents on CAFE standards)  Text

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne, No. C 08-1339 CW, 2008 WL 4951027 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 18, 2008) (challenging rule under ESA that allows greenhouse gas emissions; reclassification of polar bear as “threatened species”)

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Nat’l Highway Traffic Safety Admin., 538 F.3d 1172 (9th Cir. 2008) (challenging CAFE standards for light trucks)

Cent. Valley Chrysler-Jeep, Inc. v. Goldstene, 563 F. Supp. 2d 1158 (E.D. Cal. 2008) (would not expand scope of injunction once federal waiver received)  Text

Pac. Coast Fed’n of Fishermen’s Ass’ns v. Gutierrez, 606 F. Supp. 2d 1122 (E.D. Cal. 2008) (NMFS failed to address climate change in biological opinion on endangered salmonid species)  Text

San Francisco Chapter of A. Philip Randolph Inst. v. EPA, No. C. 07-04936 CRB, 2008 WL 859985 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 28, 2008) (dismissal of suit seeking an order to compel EPA to regulate carbon dioxide under CAA)

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Office of Mgmt. & Budget, 546 F. Supp. 2d 722 (N.D. Cal. 2008) (FOIA request to determine weight climate science given in OMB analysis)  Text

N. Slope Borough v. Minerals Mgmt. Serv., No. 3:07-cv-0045-RRB, 2008 WL 110889 (D. Alaska Jan. 8, 2008) (rejecting claim that EIS needed to take into account cumulative impact of climate change on sale of oil and gas leases)  Text

Cent. Valley Chrysler-Jeep, Inc. v. Goldstene, 529 F. Supp. 2d 1151 (E.D. Cal. 2007) (state’s carbon dioxide regulations not preempted by CAA if waiver granted)  Text

California v. General Motors Corp., No. C06-05755 MJJ, 2007 WL 2726871 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 17, 2007) (global warming nuisance claim non-justiciable)

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Brennan, 571 F. Supp. 2d 1105 (N.D. Cal. 2007) (federal agencies in violation of the Global Change Research Act)  Text

Natural Res. Def. Council v. Kempthorne, 506 F. Supp. 2d 322 (E.D. Cal 2007) (biological opinion by FWS did not take into account data on climate change; violated duty under ESA)  Text

N. Slope Borough v. Minerals Mgmt. Serv., No. 3:07-cv-0045-RRB, 2007 WL 1106110 (D. Alaska Apr. 12, 2007) (not required to account for climate change in EIS)  Text

Friends of Earth, Inc. v. Mosbacher, 488 F. Supp. 2d 889 (N.D. Cal. 2007) (use of climate change reports prepared by federal agency)  Text

Cent. Valley Chrysler-Jeep, Inc. v. Witherspoon, 456 F. Supp. 2d 1160 (E.D. Cal. 2006) (state’s carbon dioxide regulations preempted by federal law, unless waiver is granted)  Text

Cent. Valley Chrysler-Jeep, Inc. v. Witherspoon, No. CV-F-04-6663 REC LJO, 2006 WL 1883363 (E.D. Cal. July 7, 2006) (discovery of documents relating to global warming)  Text

Nw. Envtl. Def. Ctr. v. Owens Corning Corp., 434 F. Supp. 2d 957 (D. Or. 2006) (group had standing to challenge that facility would contribute to global warming under CAA)  Text

Cent. Valley Chrysler-Jeep, Inc. v. Witherspoon, No. CV-F-04-6663 REC LJO, 2005 WL 2709508 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 5, 2005) (challenging CARB’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide releases from new motor vehicles sold in California)

Friends of Earth, Inc. v. Watson, No. C 02-4106 JSW, 2005 WL 2035596 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 23, 2005) (claims of violations of NEPA by not taking into account climate change)  Text

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Abraham, 218 F. Supp. 2d 1143 (N.D. Cal. 2002) (claims of injuries from global warming too general for standing)  Text


San Juan Citizens All. v. United States BLM, 326 F. Supp. 3d 1227 (D.N.M. 2018) (NEPA challenge) Text

San Juan Citizens Alliance v. Stiles, No. 08-cv-00144-RPM, 2010 WL 1780816 (D. Colo. May 03, 2010) (NEPA challenge)  Text

Miami-Dade Cnty. v. United States EPA, 529 F.3d 1049 (11th Cir. 2008) (challenging EPA rule allowing dumping via Clean Water Act permit) Text

Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Inst. v. City of Albuquerque, Civ. No. 08-633 MV/RLP, 2008 WL 5586316 (D.N.M. Oct. 3, 2008) (federal preemption of local city’s energy conservation building code)


Envtl. Integrity Project v. McCarthy, 319 F.R.D. 8 (D.D.C. 2016) (Whether plaintiffs have standing to intervene in EPA rule involving oil and gas movement) Text

Natural Res. Def. Council v. EPA, 571 F.3d 1245 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (EPA violated CAA by allowing participation in regional cap and trade program)  Text

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Dep’t of Interior, 563 F.3d 466 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (no standing to challenge leasing program; failure to consider climate change in decision)  Text

Appalachian Voices v. Bodman, 587 F. Supp. 2d 79 (D.D.C. 2008) (lack of standing to challenge tax credit program under Energy Policy Act)  Text

North Carolina v. EPA, 531 F.3d 896 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (cap and trade program for pollution lacked measures to force upwind states to abate their emissions)   Text


Longleaf Energy Assocs., LLC v. Friends of Chattahoochee, Inc., 681 S.E.2d 203 (Ga. Ct. App. 2009) (carbon dioxide not a regulated new source)   Text


Minn. Ctr. for Envtl. Advocacy v. Holsten, A08-2171, 2009 WL 2998037 (Minn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2009) (state agency took climate change into account when approving mining project)  Text


Funk v. Wolf, 144 A.3d 228 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2016) (State’s executive authorities do not have to create a comprehensive plan to regulate greenhouse gases) Text


In re Otter Tail Power Co. ex rel. Big Stone II, 744 N.W.2d 564 (S.D. 2008) (threat posed by climate change is a judgment call by the agency)


Blue Skies Alliance v. Texas Comm’n on Envtl. Quality, 283 S.W.3d 525 (Tex. App. 2009) (power plant would not violate NAAQS for ozone)  Text


Mirant Potomac River, LLC v. Virginia, No. 2067-08-2, 2009 WL 1748524 (Va. Ct. App. June 23, 2009) (state cap and trade permit program violated the CAA)  Text


Okeson v. City of Seattle, 150 P.3d 556 (Wash. 2007) (challenging utilities’ plan to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions)  Text