Several ski regions in Colorado are suing two oil companies for, what the ski regions say is damage caused to their communities by climate change, which they blame on the oil companies.
The move follows similar suits filed earlier this year by the cities of New York and San Francisco against BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell on the same grounds.
The accusation is that the oil companies business amounted to "intentional, reckless and negligent conduct" in that it damaged the environment, and that they companies have continued to operate in the same way despite knowing for decades the damage they're causing.
In the New York Case Exxon have responded by describing the litigation as, "abusive law enforcement tactics and litigation" and said the action was intended to stifle the company's right to "participate in the national dialogue about climate change and climate policy."
The Colorado case includes the city of Boulder (pictured above) – home to the world's leading ski industry climate advocacy group, Protect Our Winters. Vail Resorts, North America's largest ski resort operating company are headquartered in the neighbouring community of Broomfield. The county that includes the southern Colorado ski area of Telluride is also part of the action.
In the Colorado case the action is against two oil companies, Exxon again and Canadian energy business Suncor Energy Inc.
The Colorado ski regions say that the oil companies' actions have brought extreme weather events such as heat waves, wildfires, droughts and floods to the State. They want the oil companies to contribute to the cost of fighting climate change in their areas.