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The kids suing their state for climate change

2023-06-07

Do Montanans have a constitutional right to a clean and healthy environment? According to the state constitution they do. And a group of young people are using that language to sue the state over its energy policies. The case is called Held v. Montana, and the plaintiffs want to prove the state’s energy policies directly harm the Montana environment. In today’s episode of The Weeds, we’ll dig into the case with Amanda Eggert (@amandaleggert), environmental reporter at the Montana Free Press, and also hear from a plaintiff about why she decided to join the lawsuit. 

You can read more reporting from Amanda on the Montana legislature, state energy policy, and the environment at MontanaFreePress.org

We reached out to the Montana attorney general’s office for comment. Here is the full statement below: 

“Following the legislative session, there are no existing laws or policies for the district court to rule on. A show trial on laws that do not exist, as the district court seems intent on holding, would be a colossal waste of taxpayer resources. This same lawsuit has been thrown out of federal court and courts in a dozen other states — and it should be dismissed here in Montana as well.” —Emily Flower, spokeswoman for Attorney General Austin Knudsen

“This entire lawsuit is a meritless publicity stunt to increase fundraising for their political activism at the expense of Montana taxpayers. Our Children’s Trust is a special-interest group that is exploiting well-intentioned Montana kids — including a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old — to achieve its goal of shutting down responsible energy development in our state. Unable to implement their policies through the normal processes of representative government, these out-of-state climate activists are trying to use liberal courts to impose their authoritarian climate agenda on Montanans.” —Kyler Nerison, communications director for Attorney General Austin Knudsen

Credits:

Jonquilyn Hill, host

Sofi LaLonde, producer

Cristian Ayala, engineer

A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts

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