A Superfund for climate change? States consider a new way to make Big Oil pay
The article discusses Vermont's initiative to join Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York in making the fossil fuel industry financially responsible for climate change impacts. After heavy rainstorms led to significant damage in the region, Vermont legislators questioned why taxpayers should bear the costs when climate disasters caused by the fossil fuel industry are at fault. The proposed bills in these states demand that oil companies finance climate action by funding various resiliency programs, such as energy efficiency retrofits, water utility improvements, solar microgrids, and stormwater drainage. Although facing potential legal battles, these efforts draw inspiration from precedents like the 1998 Big Tobacco settlement and the 1980 federal Superfund legislation. The article emphasizes the potential challenges in holding large oil corporations accountable and distributing funds effectively but underscores the importance of such measures in accelerating the transition towards climate resilience.