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Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Climate change is finally getting its day in court. 14 kids from Montana are suing the state for ignoring its Constitution which not only gives its residents “the right to a clean and healthful environment,” but also stipulates that the state and its representatives are responsible for maintaining and improving the environment “for present and future generations". Montana is the 5th largest producer of coal and the 12th biggest oil producer in the country and has rules in place that bars the state from considering climate change when deciding whether or not to issue new fossil fuel permits.

Montana has a history of being overrun by mining interests. The original 1889 Constitution gave broad authority to the copper and coal industries that essentially raped and plundered the land and then took the profits with them. So in 1972 the state convened a constitutional convention and changed the laws, making it much harder for large energy companies to exploit its natural resources.

Since then, coal and oil lobbyists have hijacked the state government, which has been ignoring the mandates set forth in the revised Constitution.

It now appears that fourteen children may finally bring the state to its knees and force it to live by the rules its residents made over 50 years ago. This will be the one of the first times that the fossil fuel industry will legally be called on the carpet for jeopardizing the future of the youth and it appears that oil and coal executives all across America are shaking in their boots.

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