Inupiat Eskimos in Kivalina, Alaska, are suing ExxonMobil and 23 other energy companies for global warming. The Earth warming trend is melting sea ice that had protected the Arctic village from coastal storms during the fall and winter, the native Alaskans report. The village may have to be relocated at a cost of $400 million or more, according to the lawsuit, which has been filed in San Francisco (yes).

Defendants include ExxonMobil Corp., Peabody Energy Corp., Southern Co., American Electric Power Co., Duke Energy Co., Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell. Nine of the 24 total are oil companies, 14 are electric-power producers and Peabody is a coal company.

"The suit claims damages due to the defendant companies' contributions to global warming and invokes the federal common law of public nuisance. The suit also alleges a conspiracy by some defendants to mislead the public regarding the causes and consequences of global warming. The residents of Kivalina are among the nation's poorest people," the plaintiffs report.

Colleen Swan, Kivalina tribal administrator, says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has "found that Kivalina is directly harmed by global warming and must relocate at an expense that could cost $400 million or more."

Plaintiffs are being represented by six law firms.

--Nissa Darbonne, Executive Editor, Oil and Gas Investor, A&D Watch, Oil and Gas Investor This Week, ndarbonne@hartenergy.com