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Speaking out and speaking up

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Image by Allexxandar on Freepik

In Montana, a group of young plaintiffs and a team of lawyers are requesting that a state judge allow them to plead their case. They are going for a first in the environmental justice sector that speaks about the rights of citizens.

Citing measurable environmental damages and degradation to wildlife habitat, air quality, water scarcity and the emotional damage to themselves and other citizens from record levels of forest fires, and the continued existential threat to their lives; the 5-22 year-olds want the state of Montana to scale back fossil-fuel projects and to pursue renewable and clean energy sources.

The claimants reference a neglect of Montana’s environmental protections which are enshrined in the state Constitution:

(1) The state and each person shall maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and future generations.
(2) The legislature shall provide for the administration and enforcement of this duty.
(3) The legislature shall provide adequate remedies for the protection of the environmental life support system from degradation and provide adequate remedies to prevent unreasonable depletion and degradation of natural resources.

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