March 02, 2008

Oil companies should pay

Tribe sues in fight for way of lifeLast week, the native village of Kivalina, Alaska, 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle, filed a global-warming lawsuit against Xcel Energy and 23 other major utilities and oil companies.

These 390 Inupiat Eskimos live on a narrow barrier island that used to be protected by Arctic ice.

Now that the ice has melted, their tiny and impoverished village is vulnerable to the crashing waves of the frigid sea.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the General Accounting Office estimate that it's going to cost between $95 million and $400 million to move their village.

The Eskimos want nine oil companies, 14 electric-power companies and one coal company to pay. The list of defendants is a who's who of carbon-dioxide emitters, including ConocoPhillips, Duke Energy, Exxon Mobil, BP and Chevron.

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