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Montana news about the environment, natural resources, wildlife, climate change and more.

State challenge to constitutional climate case begins July 10

The Montana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week in the appeal of the youth-led climate case Held v. Montana.

Sixteen youth plaintiffs sued the state for violating their constitutional right to a clean environment by failing to address climate change. A district court judge ruled in favor of the kids and ordered the state to consider how any proposed development project contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts.

Lawyers for the youth plaintiffs and the state will present their arguments to Montana’s highest court on Wednesday, July 10. National law firm Our Children’s Trust is backing this case and similar lawsuits in several other states.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Held case affects other litigation before the court, regarding Northwestern Energy’s power plant on the banks of the Yellowstone River. The court has indicated it will issue rulings on both cases at the same time, and intends to do so before the next legislative session begins in January.

Ellis Juhlin is MTPR's Rocky Mountain Front reporter. Ellis previously worked as a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a reporter at Yellowstone Public Radio. She has a Master's Degree in Ecology from Utah State University. She's an average birder and wants you to keep your cat indoors. She has two dogs, one of which is afraid of birds.
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