Skip to content
Main Menu
Utah Attorney General
Attorney General
Sean D. Reyes
Utah Office of the Attorney General
Secondary Navigation

AGO Joins Brief to Supreme Court Opposing Energy Policy Regulations

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in Sunoco v. Honolulu, asking the nation’s high court to hear arguments in a case where state courts have mistakenly allowed local jurisdictions to bind energy policies and promotions of companies engaging in interstate and international commerce.

The City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Honolulu Board of Water Supply sued several oil and gas producers over allegations that these companies “engaged in a deceptive promotion campaign and misled the public about the dangers of using their oil and gas products, causing increased fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, which then caused property and infrastructure damage in Honolulu.” The oil and gas producers disagreed with the claims, making the defense that the issues raised by Honolulu were governed only by federal and international laws, not local and state. 

The Hawaii State Supreme Court upheld the decisions against oil and gas producers from lower courts, which instituted regulations on these companies’ energy production and sales, prompting the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In their brief, the attorneys general argue that “federalism and precedent foreclose state-law claims based on interstate emissions, [and that] this case is an ideal vehicle to address an issue of great constitutional and economic significance.” This case out of Hawaii is of great significance to jurisprudence around the nation because of the pending and future challenges of this nature in various local courts. As the States write, “The theory behind this suit…would trample over every State’s sovereignty to regulate energy and other activity within its borders, posing enormous ‘risk to the rest of the country.’”

Joining Utah and Alabama were the States of Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Wyoming.

Read the brief here.