A federal lawsuit filed earlier this month claims they are.
The suit, Loorz v. Jackson, was filed on May 4 in the Northern District of California by attorneys representing a number of youth groups who claim U.S. officials are violating the “Public Trust Doctrine” by failing to implement policies to reduce GHG emissions. The common law public trust doctrine requires that some shared resources be protected by the government.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs seek an injunction requiring the federal government to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent each year and would require the government to “take all necessary actions” to do so. The suit would also require that the government prepare a detailed greenhouse gas inventory, an annual carbon budget, and a climate recovery plan by December 31 of this year.
A copy of the complaint is available here: Loorz Complaint.