The U.S. National Association of Manufacturers has changed its mind about participating in Juliana v. United States, the landmark case in which 21 youth plaintiffs are arguing that their constitutional and public trust rights are being violated by the government’s creation of climate danger.
NAM filed a motion Monday, asking permission from Judge Thomas Coffin to withdraw as a plaintiff and defendant in the case.
“Over 18 months ago, NAM, like the other fossil fuel intervenors, went to great lengths to become a party defendant in this case,” said Julia Olson, counsel for the plaintiffs and executive director of Our Children’s Trust. In November 2015, OCT notes in a post on EcoWatch, NAM, the American Petroleum Institute, or American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers stepped up voluntarily, describing the suit as a “direct threat to [their] businesses.” The claimed that a “significant reduction in emissions would cause a significant negative effect on [their] members by constraining the sale of the product they have specialized in developing and selling.”
Since then, OCT and its 21 young clients have been gaining ground in court, and now the manufacturers are trying to fold up their tent.
“They claimed their members were seriously threatened by our case. Now, faced with significant legal victories by these young plaintiffs, and on the eve of having to take a position on climate science, NAM wants out of this case. We believe the court will determine that there should be consequences for wasting the court’s time.”
There’s no word yet on whether the Petroleum Institute or the Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers will follow the manufacturers out the door.