A lawsuit brought on behalf of Montana youth that seeks to force the state to forego the use of fossil fuel technology in favor of ‘green’ or renewable sources of energy is in its second week.

KGVO News spoke to Maya Van Rossum, founder of the Green Amendments for the Generations movement and organization about the Held v. Montana lawsuit before U.S. District Court Judge Kathy Seely.

This Lawsuit was Brought on Behalf of 16 Montana Youths

“There are 16 youth plaintiffs here in the state of Montana that are suing the state for the failure of the state to consider their constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment and to make sure that the implementation of those constitutional rights includes the government protecting their right to a safe climate,” began Van Rossum.

Van Rossum said her organization is not part of the court action, but that other ‘green’ advocacy groups are litigating the case.

“This youth climate litigation is being advanced by two organizations, one called Our Children's Trust, and the other called the Western Environmental Law Center,” she said. “Those are actually the two organizations that are legally representing the youths in the case that is going is in trial right now, this week and next week here in the state of Montana.”

This Lawsuit Seeks an End to the use of Fossil Fuels for Energy

Van Rossum said that the suit does not seek to ban any specific energy source, but rather to recognize the dangers that continued use of fossil fuels means for a healthy climate for the young plaintiffs.

“It's not seeking to specifically ban a particular industry but it is certainly taking to ensure that all government officials here in the state of Montana address the climate-changing emissions that they are facilitating through their actions to advance fossil fuel production, transportation, and consumption here in the state of Montana,” she said.

When asked about claims that fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas will have to be a part of any energy company’s portfolio for possibly a decade to come, Van Rossum strongly disagreed.

Van Rossum said Montana Lacks the Political Will to End use of Fossil Fuels

“This suggests that going down a clean energy path and leaving dirty fossil fuels behind is not accessible or achievable in the near term really demonstrates a misunderstanding or misinformation on where we stand technologically,” she said. “Here in Montana and nationwide, clean and renewable energy options are truly accessible right now, today. The only reason why dirty fossil fuels continue to be perpetuated in Montana and beyond is because of a lack of political will.”

If Judge Kathy Seely finds that Montana’s fossil fuel activities violate the state constitution, there is a good chance that it will be appealed to a higher court.

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