For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Stacey Schmader: info@celdf.org

Major Gains for Rights of Nature Movement Met With Corporate and State Backlash

Following 2020 developments in Ecuador, French Guiana, the Nez Perce Tribe, Costa Rica, Spain, the Yurok Tribe, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, the American Petroleum Institute and lawmakers in Missouri respond to repress momentum in the United States.

WASHINGTON - So far in 2020, important developments for the global Rights of Nature movement have been made in Ecuador, French Guiana, Australia, the Nez Perce Tribe, Spain, Costa Rica, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, the Tŝilhqot’in Nation, and the Yurok Tribe, which helped win an historic agreement to remove dams on the Klamath River (whose rights the tribe formally recognized in 2019.) This week, backlash to the movement has come from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and lawmakers in Missouri.

On December 1, 2020, the API, perhaps the most influential fossil fuel lobby in the nation, filed a brief in opposition to a federal civil rights case brought by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, in defense of local communities’ right to vote on qualified local Rights of Nature laws.

The same day the API filed its legal brief, a bill (HB 54), to try to ban Rights of Nature in the courts was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives. The language is almost identical to language passed in 2019, by the Ohio Legislature, that was drafted by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce in direct response to the passage of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights.

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

Never Miss a Beat.

Get our best delivered to your inbox.

Weeks ago, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision in McGirt, which ruled that much of Eastern Oklahoma falls within Indian reservations who have sovereignty to pass environmental law (including Rights of Nature lawmaking by the Ponca Tribe), Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and allies sought to undermine the decision by asking Congress to strip environmental authority from tribes. (Ponca Environmental Ambassador Casey Camp Horinek and the group Movement Rights have been organizing to defend tribal sovereignty and the Rights of Nature in the state.)

Additionally, in September, a corporate law firm that filed a lawsuit against the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, used civil rights law to demand attorney fees from the City of Toledo, for its fleeting defense of the people’s law. This amounts to financial reprisal against residents of Toledo, Ohio for their enactment of the historic law.

For supporting documentation contact simon@celdf.org.

###

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:



The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit, public interest law firm providing free and affordable legal services to communities facing threats to their local environment, local agriculture, local economy, and quality of life. Its mission is to build sustainable communities by assisting people to assert their right to local self-government and the rights of nature.

Share This Article