SEHN

Visionary Science, Ethics, Law and Action in the Public Interest

Why Legal Principles are Important in Organizing Around Pipelines, Fracking and Mining

 

We have entered the Age of Extreme Energy. Every region is facing threats — from Virginia to Wisconsin, from Nebraska and Iowa to California. New destructive techniques — for mining, drilling, processing, and transporting fossil fuels — are swarming across the land like locusts.

 

Communities and the natural world are threatened

Corporations come in and pick off individual landowners and county boards with threats of eminent domain and false arguments about national security. They bring unparalleled threats to our water, land, and climate from tar sands, fracking, mountain-top removal, and deep drilling beneath our coastal waters. After they get what they’re after, the corporations move on, leaving behind a ruined landscape, toxic water and soil, communities worse off than before.

 

Why Have Legal Principles?

The reason legal principles are important is that governments make decisions within a legal frame, and the current legal framework does not account for all of the facts. The old legal principles that permitted exploitation of land and people have failed us, failed to protect the necessities for life — air, water, land, water, plants, animals, and public health. To protect our communities and the natural world, we can establish new legal principles.

 

The Science & Environmental Health Network and the Women’s Congress for Future Generations offer a set of legal principles to serve as one basis for organizing around pipelines, fracking and mining. The intent of these principles is to provide common talking points, a common legal agenda, and an entry point for organizing. We invite you to:

Read and Sign On to these Legal Principles. 

Take the Legal Principles  into your community and use them in your organizing