Eroding Alaska village sues oil, power firms

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ANCHORAGE - A tiny Alaska village eroding into the Chukchi Sea sued oil, power and coal companies Tuesday, claiming that the large amounts of greenhouse gases they emit contribute to global warming that threatens the community's existence.

The city of Kivalina and a federally recognized tribe, the Alaska Native village of Kivalina, sued Exxon Mobil Corp. and eight other oil companies, plus 14 power companies and one coal company in a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco.

Kivalina is a traditional Inupiat Eskimo village of 391 about 625 miles northwest of Anchorage. It's built on an 8-mile barrier reef between the Chukchi Sea and Kivalina River.

A spokesman for Exxon Mobil, Gantt Walton, said the company is reviewing the lawsuit and did not have immediate comment.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kivalina by two nonprofit legal organizations, The Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and the Native American Rights Fund, plus six law firms.

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