Federal Court Turns Down Oil Company’s Bid to Shift District’s Climate Lawsuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a unanimous decision in District of Columbia v. Exxon Mobil Corp., rejecting oil company defendants’ attempts to move a “greenwashing” lawsuit to federal court. The court ruled that the district-law-based claims against oil companies could remain in district court where they were filed. The opinion, written by Judge Neomi Rao and joined by Judges Greg Katsas and Florence Pan, clearly confirms that the claims are not preempted by federal law. The court also rejected other potential bases for removal, including the federal officer removal statute and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The ruling supports the argument that these cases should be addressed at the federal level, not in state court.