Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker told E&E News the lawyers are “considering all options, including an appeal.”

Although Alsup sided with the fossil fuel companies, Coté added: “We’re pleased that the court recognized that the science of global warming is no longer in dispute. Our litigation forced a public court proceeding on climate science, and now these companies can no longer deny it is real and valid. Our belief remains that these companies are liable for the harm they’ve caused.”

While dismissing the suits, Alsup wrote: “The issue is not over science. All parties agree that fossil fuels have led to global warming and ocean rise and will continue to do so, and that eventually the navigable waters of the United States will intrude upon Oakland and California. The issue is a legal one.” Though the five companies named in the suit are among the world’s largest producers, the judge pointed out that “anyone who supplied fossil fuels with knowledge of the problem would be liable.”

“It is never good when a judge says the other side wins,” Niskanen Center attorney David Bookbinder—a co-counsel for a similar case brought by communities in Colorado—told Axios. However, “this is round one of many, many rounds of decisions in these cases,” he said. “By no means is it the end of the process.”

“There are always adverse decisions along the road to victory. That was true in tobacco, lead, and asbestos, where the courts ultimately crafted a solution to a major crisis,” concluded Wiles. “This fight is just getting started and we expect to win.”

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