Like a rash: Our Children’s Trust is back with another lawsuit against fossil fuel development in Alaska

Photo credit: Rob Bussell

Our Children’s Trust, an environmental litigation group, just lost in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on a similar argument about climate change, kids, and fossil fuels, but is back at it with a narrower version.

Yet another group of youth, ages 11-22, have been signed up as plaintiffs in a lawsuit involving energy, the environment, climate change, and the young people’s imagined rights to their livelihoods.

On Wednesday, Our Children’s Trust filed the suit in Anchorage Superior Court that alleges an Alaska statute that promotes the development of fossil fuels absolutely infringes on young people’s rights and constitutional protections, due to the release of “greenhouse gases.”

“This is a facial challenge under Article VIII and Article I, section 7 of Alaska’s Constitution to AS § 31.25.005(1) and (5). Amidst Alaska’s worsening climate crisis, these laws unconstitutionally mandate the development and advancement of the Alaska Liquified Natural Gas Project (the “Alaska LNG Project” or the “Project”), which would substantially increase Alaska’s climate pollution for decades to come, causing existential harms to the lives, health, safety, and cultural traditions and identities of Alaska’s youth, and substantially limit their access to the vital natural resources upon which they depend,” the lawsuit reads.

The plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment against the State of Alaska; the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, and AGDC President, Frank Richards, saying that the youth have a right to a climate system that “sustains human life, liberty, and dignity under Article VIII and Article 1, section 7 of Alaska’s Constitution.”

“Every additional ton of climate pollution causes further harm and endangerment to Alaska’s youth and brings Alaska closer to fast-approaching, irreversible climate tipping points. A substantial portion of every ton of CO2 pollution stays in the atmosphere for millennia trapping heat. Every ton of climate pollution that is avoided lessens the accumulation of heat that is trapped on Earth and therefore lessens the future harm to Youth Plaintiffs,” the lawsuit reads.

“At a time when the scientific consensus requires that climate pollution must be rapidly reduced to avert further and irreversible climate harms to Alaska’s youth, AS § 31.25.005(1) and (5) unconstitutionally direct AGDC to develop and advance the Alaska LNG Project, which would unleash vast quantities of fossil gas from Alaska’s North Slope and substantially increase Alaska’s emissions of climate pollutionThe Alaska LNG Project is intended to operate for at least thirty years and would ensure continuing and substantially elevated levels of climate pollution for decades, locking in increasing and worsening harms to Youth Plaintiffs,” the lawsuit argues.

AGDC’s commented that the Alaska LNG project will respond in court after reviewing the lawsuit.

“AGDC is directed by Alaska statute to commercialize North Slope natural gas because of the substantial environmental, economic, and energy security benefits it unlocks for our state. Alaska LNG has withstood intensive environmental scrutiny by two successive administrations because of its obvious and abundant benefits, which include reducing global emissions by up to 2.3 billion tons and finally ending longstanding air quality problems plaguing Interior Alaska villages and communities. We’ll review this claim and respond accordingly,” AGDC said in a statement.

Fossil fuels are compound mixtures made of decomposed plants that are millions of years old. It is a natural substance the earth creates and is not made of fossils but from things like algae, bacteria, and plants. It is as “organic” as burning wood for heat.

The earth has significantly cooled in the past 56 million years since the Eocene period, when palm trees grew in the region now known as Alaska and crocodiles swam arctic waters.

Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor called the lawsuit “misguided” in an email to Reuters, adding that LNG development in Alaska “is subject to the most stringent environmental standards in the world.”

Taylor told Reuters he is confident the courts will uphold the law that allows the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation project to pursue building a 800-mile gasline from the North Slope to Nikiski. AGDC has been working on the project for years and through three gubernatorial administrations, now hoping to be operational by 2030.



  1. Cute!
    Are these litigants holding their breath so they do not contribute to the pollution of their environment with CO2?
    I bet not!
    Making bombastic statement is one thing, but can they actually proof a correlation?
    I bet not!
    Using underage children for your idiotic agenda should be severely frowned upon by the court.

  2. If they loose the lawsuit they need to pay every expense. I also think WE should turn the gas and electricity off from December 15th until march 1st. See how smart these A holes think they are then.

    Good job parents of kids to 18 years old today. You have raised a bunch
    Of cowardly psychopaths.

  3. No let them give up fossil fuels and anything associated with fossil fuels.
    They need to put an end of their use of fossil fuels.
    Prove your stance for 1 year then we will talk about it.
    We need a lawsuit against any lawyers and organizations that are pushing against fossil fuels for denying us our rights. We have the right to use fast fuels like they have a right to use the air.
    I really want to see them go without fossil fuels, but they won’t do it. They want us to be first.

  4. Frivolous lawsuits such as this one should result in severe sanctions and full attorney costs to the defendant. A lawfare attempt to subvert science and to advance an agenda based on a fairy tale.
    Shame on these people for using the courts to indoctrinate young minds. Double Shame for wasting the court’s time with utter nonsense.

    • I’m not sure they have much of a future anyway. The parents of these children should be prosecuted for exploitation. Shameful.

  5. Like a rash the Legislature appropriated $$$$$ Millions to pursue a LNG Pipeline that does not make any economic sense. To be expected from people who believe putting more carbon in the atmosphere for short term benefit is more beneficial in the long term

    • If every government funded initiative had to make economic sense, there would be no roads, railroads, bridges, air traffic control system, ports, etc…etc… etc…
      The very reason why government initiatives an industry IS because the public at large needs it, and it would be prohibitively expensive for a smaller entity to carry the project out.

    • Oh “Frank”…

      Try heating your house in the dead of winter without putting carbon in the air.

      Hint: you can’t.

      You can’t even dress warmly without putting carbon in the air.

  6. > On Wednesday, Our Children’s Trust filed the suit in *Anchorage Superior Court*

    Well, obviously they’ll win in the overtly-political Alaska courts. Just wondering how far up the chain this one will go before getting smacked down.

    • They’ll never stop until they win.

      The secret of the left is they never, ever stop. They take a small gain, back up for a beat, then come again.

      Pity the GOP can’t be this disciplined.

  7. It takes a particularly selfish… no possibly even evil, person to use innocent children as pawns in their political games.
    How is this different than any other form of child abuse? Doctors who destroy a child’s sexual organs, and the parents who allow it are no worse than these political agenda driven “adults” who destroy childhoods for their political gain.
    I need look no further than Saint Greta. I see how she is delusional enough to think anyone alive cares what she has to say about middle east politics. Instead of enjoying her teen years her life was destroyed for political gains that she will never see.

  8. Make the little snots walk to school like in the good old days
    And NO plastic cell phones or computers.
    Wooden toys & bikes.


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