PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Two Pennsylvania kids sued the Trump administration Monday claiming its short-sighted energy and environmental policies are worsening the affect climate change has on their lives.
In a federal lawsuit filed in the Philadelphia, plaintiffs S.B. and B.B., through their legal guardians, contend that Trump and his appointees to head various government departments are “relying on junk science to wage a war on facts, data, and reliable principles and methods arising out of scientific, technical, and specialized knowledge.”
“In doing so, Defendants have acted with reckless and deliberate indifference to the established clear and present dangers of climate change, knowingly increasing
its resulting damages, death, and destruction,” the plaintiffs say.
S.B., 7, is described in the complaint as a typical, sports-loving kid who has seen his seasonal allergies worsen dramatically in recent years, curtailing his playing of sports and the time he can safely stay outdoors.
Eleven-year-old B.B., meanwhile, is portrayed as an ardent environmentalist who was traumatized by 2012’s Super Storm Sandy.
Both claim the administration’s policies will dramatically increase greenhouse gas emissions and violate their Due Process rights in the process.
“Increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere jeopardize [children’s] welfare by diminishing their capacity to provide for their basic human needs, safely raise families, practice their religious and spiritual beliefs, maintain their bodily integrity, and lead lives with access to clean air, water, shelter, and food,” says the complaint filed by Katie Beran of Hausfeld LLP in Philadelphia.
President Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism about climate science, going so far as saying it is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. He also famously withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord because, he said, “this agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”
The plaintiffs, which also include the nonprofit Clean Air Council, claim that in pursing such policies, the White House has also violated the Public Trust Doctrine that “is rooted in English common law than can be traced back to Roman civil law.”
“[The Trump administration] have implemented rollbacks that largely eliminate the protections intended to combat the devastating effects of climate change,” the complaint says. “In doing so, Defendants have engaged in affirmative acts in contravention of their duty of care as trustees to manage the life-sustaining resources of the public trust in the best interests of the present and future beneficiaries of the public trust, including Plaintiffs.”
They seek declaratory relief and damages to be determined by the court.