FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
What: Lafayette Community Members Introduce Climate Bill of Rights And Protections To City Council, Pledge Environmental Defense of Boulder County
When: Lafayette City Council meeting Tuesday, January 3, approximately 7pm depending on meeting agenda.
Where: 1290 S. Public Road, Lafayette Colorado
East Boulder County United
The people of Lafayette, Colorado have introduced an ordinance for formal adoption to the Lafayette City Council. The measure titled, “Climate Bill of Rights and Protections” is a law that will codify the right to a healthy climate and community member’s ability to enforce this right through community led, nonviolent direct action. It is based on the First Nation principle of protecting the environment for seven generations.
The measure will be introduced by two Lafayette City Councilors, Councilor Gustavo Reyna and Councilor Merrily Mazza, at the January 3rd meeting.
If the measure is approved Lafayette will become the second community nationally to adopt such a measure. Grant Township Pennsylvania legalized the defense of their community through nonviolent civil disobedience earlier this year when it was faced with threats from a proposed fracking waste injection well.
Pennsylvania Township Legalizes Civil Disobedience
The Climate Bill of Rights and Protections is part of the larger effort to protect Lafayette and Boulder County from nearly 2000 possible oil and gas wells. Trainings for nonviolent direct action are ongoing and are seeing capacity levels of participants. East Boulder County United has stated that no drilling will be permitted, and the protection of the environment and climate is an inalienable right shared by all.
“As a mother and a citizen of Lafayette, I’m tired of state and local governments and corporations telling me that I have no rights to prevent my community from being poisoned by fracking. I will protect my family from toxic industry coming into my backyard, and I am standing up for health and safety and my right to local self government.”
– Kristin McLean, mother, Lafayette resident
The Climate Bill of Rights And Protections will be enforced directly by local community members should the Lafayette Council fail to pass the measure by a majority of votes. The campaign beginning in Lafayette will address Boulder County moving forward after the meetings of the Lafayette City Council.
“As a local business owner I find that any ordinance protecting our environment is a must. We have the right to clean air, clean water and a clean nurturing environment. We have the right to not compromise the quality of our health, our life and the life of our planet. And our children have the RIGHT to NOT spend their lives fighting the diseases and ramifications of the waste left behind.”
– Bill Pomeroy, Owner, East Simpson Coffee
Lafayette was one of many communities sued by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association after enactment of the Community Bill of Rights in 2013. The ballot measure, which is to date the most comprehensive ban on fossil fuels in Colorado history, won enactment by a vote of over 60% of the electorate. The Lafayette City Council declined to appeal the decision of the lower court, which sided with COGA and the State of Colorado, citing legal expenses, which amounted to over $60,000. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund has volunteered to defend the Climate Bill of Rights and Protection pro bono should it pass the Council vote and be challenged in court.
Our position moving forward:
1. We have spoken clearly on the issue of oil and gas development and it is resolved that we do not want drilling in Lafayette and Boulder County under any circumstances. It is a violation of our land, the health of our families, and the well being of our communities.
2. Any attempt to forcefully move fracking into Lafayette and Boulder County is a violation of our fundamental rights.
3. The laws that seek to remove us from control of our land, our local environment, and our right to self govern are in every way immoral and illegitimate.
4. We have the right and obligation to protect our environment, our families, and our communities.
5. All government officials and staff will be asked to side with the people in every capacity, refuse to administer the destruction of our land, and enforce the will of the community to protect us from any intrusive industry that fails to recognize these fundamental rights.
“It has come time to move beyond the failed and illegitimate demands of the fossil fuel industry and the Colorado Oil and Gas Act. We are obligated as people and government to protect the local environment and the rights of Lafayette community members. When people step forward to defend those most important things, we will ensure they are not harmed in any way meant to penalize them for doing so. The people of Colorado and this beautiful land have suffered enough. Its time to take new, bold, and necessary steps forward to protect the climate and all those dependent upon it”.
– Merrily Mazza, Lafayette City Councilor