Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. BP P.L.C., 030620 FED4, 19-1644

Docket Nº:19-1644
Opinion Judge:FLOYD, CIRCUIT JUDGE
Party Name:MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF BALTIMORE, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. BP P.L.C.; BP AMERICA, INC.; BP PRODUCTS NORTH AMERICA, INC.; CROWN CENTRAL LLC; CROWN CENTRAL NEW HOLDINGS LLC; CHEVRON CORP.; CHEVRON U.S.A. INC.; EXXON MOBIL CORP.; EXXONMOBIL OIL CORPORATION; ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, PLC; SHELL OIL COMPANY; CITGO PETROLEUM CORP.; CONOCOPHILLIPS; CONOCO...
Attorney:Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, Los Angeles, California, for Appellants. Victor Marc Sher, SHER EDLING LLP, San Francisco, California, for Appellee. Joshua S. Lipshutz, Washington, D.C., Anne Champion, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, New York, New York; Ty Kelly, Jonathan Bir...
Judge Panel:Before GREGORY, Chief Judge, and FLOYD and THACKER, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:March 06, 2020
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
 
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MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF BALTIMORE, Plaintiff - Appellee,

v.

BP P.L.C.; BP AMERICA, INC.; BP PRODUCTS NORTH AMERICA, INC.; CROWN CENTRAL LLC; CROWN CENTRAL NEW HOLDINGS LLC; CHEVRON CORP.; CHEVRON U.S.A. INC.; EXXON MOBIL CORP.; EXXONMOBIL OIL CORPORATION; ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, PLC; SHELL OIL COMPANY; CITGO PETROLEUM CORP.; CONOCOPHILLIPS; CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY; PHILLIPS 66; MARATHON OIL COMPANY; MARATHON OIL CORPORATION; MARATHON PETROLEUM CORPORATION; SPEEDWAY LLC; HESS CORP.; CNX RESOURCES CORPORATION; CONSOL ENERGY, INC.; CONSOL MARINE TERMINALS LLC, Defendants - Appellants,

and

LOUISIANA LAND & EXPLORATION CO.; PHILLIPS 66 COMPANY; CROWN CENTRAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION, Defendants.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Amicus Supporting Appellants.

NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES; U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS; INTERNATIONAL MUNICIPAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION; PUBLIC CITIZEN, INC.; SHELDON WHITEHOUSE; EDWARD J. MARKEY; STATE OF MARYLAND; STATE OF CALIFORNIA; STATE OF CONNECTICUT; STATE OF NEW JERSEY; STATE OF NEW YORK; STATE OF OREGON; STATE OF RHODE ISLAND; STATE OF VERMONT; STATE OF WASHINGTON; MARIO J. MOLINA; MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER; BOB KOPP; FRIEDERIKE OTTO; SUSANNE C. MOSER; DONALD J. WUEBBLES; GARY GRIGGS; PETER C. FRUMHOFF; KRISTINA DAHL; NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL; ROBERT BRULLE; CENTER FOR CLIMATE INTEGRITY; CHESAPEAKE CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK; JUSTIN FARRELL; BEN FRANTA; STEPHAN LEWANDOWSKY; NAOMI ORESKES; GEOFFREY SUPRAN; UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS, Amici Supporting Appellee.

No. 19-1644

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

March 6, 2020

Argued: December 11, 2019

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. Ellen L. Hollander, District Judge. (1:18-cv-02357-ELH)

ARGUED:

Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, Los Angeles, California, for Appellants.

Victor Marc Sher, SHER EDLING LLP, San Francisco, California, for Appellee.

ON BRIEF:

Joshua S. Lipshutz, Washington, D.C., Anne Champion, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, New York, New York; Ty Kelly, Jonathan Biran, BAKER, DONELSON, BEARMAN, CALDWELL & BERKOWITZ, P.C., Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellants Chevron Corporation and Chevron U.S.A., Inc.

John B. Isbister, Jaime W. Luse, TYDINGS & ROSENBERG LLP, Baltimore, Maryland; Philip H. Curtis, Nancy G. Milburn, New York, New York, Matthew T. Heartney, John D. Lombardo, ARNOLD & PORTER KAY SCHOLER LLP, Los Angeles, California, for Appellants BP Products North America Inc., BP P.L.C., and BP America Inc.

Craig A. Thompson, VENABLE LLP, Baltimore, Maryland; Theodore V. Wells, Jr., Daniel J. Toal, Jaren Janghorbani, New York, New York, Kannon Shanmugam, PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND, WHARTON, GARRISON LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellants Exxon Mobil Corporation and ExxonMobile Oil Corporation.

David C. Frederick, James M. Webster, III, Brendan J. Crimmins, Grace W. Knofczynski, KELLOGG, HANSEN, TODD, FIGEL & FREDERICK, P.L.L.C., Washington, D.C.; Daniel B. Levin, Los Angeles, California, Jerome B. Roth, Elizabeth A. Kim, MUNGER, TOLLES & OLSON LLP, San Francisco, California, for Shell Oil Company and Royal Dutch Shell, PLC.

Warren N. Weaver, Peter Sheehan, WHITEFORD TAYLOR AND PRESTON LLP, Baltimore, Maryland; Nathan P. Eimer, Pamela R. Hanebutt, Ryan Walsh, Raphael Janove, EIMER STAHL LLP, Chicago, Illinois, for Appellant Citgo Petroleum Corporation.

Michael A. Brown, NELSON MULLINS RILEY & SCARBOROUGH LLP, Baltimore, Maryland; Sean C. Grimsley, Jameson R. Jones, BARTLIT BECK LLP, Denver, Colorado, for Appellants ConocoPhillips and ConocoPhillips Company.

Jonathan Chunwei Su, LATHAM & WATKINS LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellant Phillips 66.

Steven M. Bauer, Margaret A. Tough, LATHAM & WATKINS LLP, San Francisco, California, for Appellants ConocoPhillips, ConocoPhillips Company, and Phillips 66.

Shannon S. Broome, San Francisco, California, Shawn Patrick Regan, New York, New York, Ann Marie Mortimer, HUNTON ANDREWS KURTH LLP, Los Angeles, California, for Appellants Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Speedway, LLC.

Scott Janoe, Houston, Texas, Megan Berge, Emily Wilson, BAKER BOTTS L.L.P., Washington, D.C., for Appellant Hess Corp.

Michelle N. Lipkowitz, Thomas K. Prevas, SAUL EWING ARNSTEIN & LEHR LLP, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellants Crown Central LLC and Crown Central New Holdings LLC.

Kathleen Taylor Sooy, Tracy Ann Roman, Washington, D.C., Honor R. Costello, CROWELL & MORING LLP, New York, New York, for Appellants CNX Resources Corporation, Consol Energy Inc., and Consol Marine Terminals LLC.

Matthew K. Edling, SHER EDLING LLP, San Francisco, California; Andre M. Davis, Suzanne Sangree, BALTIMORE CITY LAW DEPARTMENT, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellee.

Steven P. Lehotsky, Michael B. Schon, UNITED STATES CHAMBER LITIGATION CENTER, Washington, D.C.; Peter D. Keisler, C. Frederick Beckner III, Ryan C. Morris, Tobias S. Loss-Eaton, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, Washington, D.C., for Amicus Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America.

Michael Burger, Susan Kraham, MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS LEGAL SERVICES, INC., New York, New York, for Amici The National League of Cities, The United States Conference of Mayors, and the International Municipal Lawyers Association.

Scott L. Nelson, Allison M. Zieve, PUBLIC CITIZEN LITIGATION GROUP, Washington, D.C., for Amicus Public Citizen, Inc.

Gerson H. Smoger, SMOGER & ASSOCIATES, P.C., Dallas, Texas; Robert S. Peck, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL LITIGATION, P.C., Washington, D.C., for Amici Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Edward J. Markey.

Brian E. Frosh, Attorney General, Joshua M. Segal, Special Assistant Attorney General, Steven J. Goldstein, Special Assistant Attorney General, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MARYLAND, Baltimore, Maryland, for Amicus State of Maryland.

Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CALIFORNIA, Sacramento, California, for Amicus State of California.

William Tong, Attorney General, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CONNECTICUT, Hartford, Connecticut, for Amicus State of Connecticut.

Gurbir S. Grewal, Attorney General, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NEW JERSEY, Trenton, New Jersey, for Amicus State of New Jersey.

Letitia James, Attorney General, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NEW YORK, Albany, New York, for Amicus State of New York.

Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, OREGON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Salem, Oregon, for Amicus State of Oregon.

Peter F. Neronha, Attorney General, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF RHODE ISLAND, Providence, Rhode Island, for Amicus State of Rhode Island.

Thomas J. Donovan, Attorney General, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF VERMONT, Montpelier, Vermont, for Amicus State of Vermont.

Robert W. Ferguson, Attorney General, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF WASHINGTON, Olympia, Washington, for Amicus State of Washington.

William A. Rossbach, ROSSBACH LAW, PC, Missoula, Montana, for Amici Mario J. Molina, Michael Oppenheimer, Bob Kopp, Friederike Otto, Susanne C. Moser, Donald J. Wuebbles, Gary Griggs, Peter C. Frumhoff, and Kristina Dahl.

Peter Huffman, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL, Washington, D.C., for Amicus Natural Resources Defense Council.

Mark A. Griffin, Amy Williams-Derry, Daniel P. Mensher, Alison S. Gaffney, KELLER ROHRBACK L.L.P., Seattle, Washington, for Amici Robert Brulle, Center for Climate Integrity, The Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Justin Farrell, Benjamin Franta, Stephan Lewandowsky, Naomi Oreskes, Geoffrey Supran, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Before GREGORY, Chief Judge, and FLOYD and THACKER, Circuit Judges.

FLOYD, CIRCUIT JUDGE

This appeal is about whether a climate-change lawsuit against oil and gas companies belongs in federal court. But this decision is only about whether one path to federal court lies open. Because 28 U.S.C. § 1447(d) confines our appellate jurisdiction, the narrow question before us is whether removal of this lawsuit is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1442, commonly referred to as the federal officer removal statute. And because we conclude that § 1442 does not provide a proper basis for removal, we affirm the district court's remand order.

I.

In July 2018, the Mayor and City of Baltimore ("Baltimore") filed suit in Maryland state court against twenty-six multinational oil and gas companies ("Defendants") that it says are partly responsible for climate change.1 According to Baltimore, Defendants substantially contributed to climate change by producing, promoting, and (misleadingly) marketing fossil fuel products long after learning the dangers associated with them. Specifically, Baltimore alleges that, despite knowing about the direct link between fossil fuel use and global warming for nearly fifty years, Defendants have engaged in a...

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