PERREAULT Magazine MARCH | APRIL 2016 - Page 37

Perreault Magazine - 37 -

Xiuhtezcatl has also been involved as one of 7 plaintiffs in a petition for rulemaking brought against the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission that asked the Commission to suspend the issuance of permits that allow oil and gas drilling, until it is proven that drilling can be conducted without adversely impacting human health and safety and without harming the environment and wildlife.

On February 19th, 2016, a judge in Denver District Court denied the petition. “Pay careful attention to this ruling, Coloradans,” warned Julia Olson, a native Coloradan and Executive Director and chief legal counsel at Our Children’s Trust.

“Your public health, safety and welfare are now subordinate to the interests of fossil fuel industry’s development of oil and gas resources. Under this court’s strained statutory interpretation, which is contrary to judicial rules of statutory interpretation and without regard to the state’s constitutional obligations, the Commission need not prioritize protecting your public health interests over interests in the development, production, and utilization of the natural resources of oil and gas.”

Big OIL lining up to battle kids in climate court case on March 9

Currently, Xiuhtezcatl is one of 2 lead plaintiffs out of 21 total, in a landmark climate court case, in which the American fossil fuel lobby takes the side of government against 21 plaintiffs suing for stronger action on global warming. Ranging in ages from 8-19, the kids are suing based on the argument that weak action on climate control is a violation of their right to life, liberty and property.

The plaintiffs filed a landmark lawsuit in August of 2015, charging that by permitting the ongoing extraction and burning of fossil fuels at an astronomical pace, the administration of President Obama is violating constitutional rights of current and future generations-and failing to protect the public trust. The kids want the administration to deepen carbon emission cuts in line with what science says needs to be done to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming. Julia Olsen, Executive Director for Our Children’s Trust, a counsel in the litigation, said the “trade groups will have to face science-based evidence in a courtroom, not in the halls of Congress where their lobbying dollars hold the most clout……This case asks the court to order what the industry fears most: a national plan using the best science to leave a nation of clean air and a healthy climate to our kids.”