Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Evil Empire Strikes Back


You didn't think it would be that easy, did you?  You didn't think the corporations that want to continue stealing and polluting our water would give up that quickly, did you? But the activists aren't taking this lying down...

Below is the latest press release from Toledoans for Safe Water about the recent legal challenge to The Lake Erie Bill of Rights. If you're not up on the continuing saga to ensure an algae-bloom-free lake and clean drinking water for 11 million+ human beings, here are some links to articles on their struggles.


The Little Mermaid helps field questions from reporters.

Lake Erie and Local Residents File Court Motions to Defend Rights of Lake

Industry lawsuit seeks to overturn will of voters to protect Lake Erie’s legal rights

TOLEDO, OH: Today, Lake Erie filed a motion to intervene in federal court to defend its legal rights under a law adopted by the people of Toledo, Ohio, on February 26.

Lake Erie filed a Motion to Intervene in the lawsuit Drewes Farm Partnership v. City of Toledo. The lawsuit, seeking to overturn the legal rights of Lake Erie, was filed by a large corporate law firm in Columbus less than 24 hours after the Lake Erie Bill of Rights was adopted.

The Motion to Intervene, if granted, would permit Lake Erie to become a party to the lawsuit and directly defend its own rights, now recognized in the Toledo City Charter, to “exist, thrive, and naturally evolve.”

Toledoans for Safe Water (TSW), the grassroots group that proposed the law, joined Lake Erie in filing the motion to become an intervening party. They also filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) assisted TSW in drafting the Lake Erie Bill of Rights and is representing Lake Erie and TSW in the motions.

Photo by the Little Mermaid of Lake Erie
In securing legal rights of Lake Erie, the people of Toledo join the growing “rights of nature” movement. Today, there are more than three dozen communities across the U.S. that have enacted rights-based laws that include provisions for rights of nature. As well, rights of nature laws and court decisions are in place in Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, India, with tribal nations, and elsewhere. The Lake Erie Bill of Rights is the first rights of nature law in the United States that specifically recognizes the rights of a distinct ecosystem to exist, flourish, and evolve.
"The people of Toledo proposed and passed the law, following years of inaction by government and industry to take meaningful steps to restore and protect Lake Erie. We recognized the need to elevate the protection of Lake Erie by securing its legal rights, moving beyond conventional environmental laws that permit pollution of the lake and deny the people any ability to protect it,” stated Crystal Jankowski of TSW.

“We proudly join with Lake Erie, and the people of Toledo, to defend the lake’s rights against efforts to undermine them,” stated Terry Lodge, the attorney who filed the intervention documents.

Explained Markie Miller of TSW, “If you’re going to court to try to overturn the legal rights of the lake, that means either you don’t support Lake Erie’s right to exist and thrive, or you want to conduct environmentally harmful activities that will violate those rights.”


We the People can take on the billionaires bent on ruining our environment!
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Power to the people--not the corporations! 

From Credo:

Just days after Trump took office, the EPA started erasing the words “climate change” across its website.1 The goal was clear: Hide the climate crisis so that oil, coal and gas companies can keep making billions.

But making the words vanish didn’t make the crisis disappear. And just because we know that Trump's EPA officials are corrupt does not mean we can let them off the hook. The EPA serves the public. We need the agency responsible for environmental protection to tell the truth about climate change. 

It’s time to tell EPA: Stop censoring science. Put the facts about climate change front and center on EPA.gov now.

After two years under the Trump administration, the EPA website is riddled with missing links and redirecting pages that obscure once easily found information. One section that provided local communities with resources for fighting climate change disappeared for months. When it reappeared, it included just 175 of its 380 pages.2

Public information on climate change matters. Without it, many people won't recognize the severity of the crisis and will not be motivated to act – which is part of why the EPA wants to hide it. Pretending the climate crisis doesn’t exist also helps the EPA to justify ignoring it in policymaking. The sustained attacks on our environment over the past two years are enabled by an agency burying its head in the sand. 

The website changes reflect a broader attack on science and scientists under the Trump administration. Government climate scientists report being prohibited from attending conferences or speaking publicly about their work.3 Scientific advisory boards have been disbanded.4 Funding for research has been cut. 

The ultimate effect of this censorship is to suppress scientific information when we need it most. Since the EPA's move to censor climate science from the public, temperatures keep rising. Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey inflicted billions in damage. Wildfires in California devoured thousands of homes and tragically took over 100 lives.

It’s time for the EPA to stop trying to hide the truth of how our climate is changing and how burning fossil fuel is behind this crisis. 

Tell the EPA: Stand up for science. Put the facts on climate change back on the EPA website. Click the link below to sign the petition:

Thanks for fighting back,

Brandy Doyle, Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►


  1. Laignee Barron, "Here's What the EPA's Website Looks Like After a Year of Climate Change Censorship," TIME, March 1, 2018.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Hannah Waters, "How the U.S. Government Is Aggressively Censoring Climate Science," Audubon Magazine, Summer 2018.
  4. Ibid.

From Corporate Accountability: 
This World Water Day, hundreds of thousands of people like you took action to advance our human right to clean, safe water at rates all people can afford across the U.S. and around the globe. In the U.S., hundreds of thousands of you raised your voices in support of the WATER Act. And in Lagos, Nigeria, our close allies at Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria sent a strong message on the need to support public water solutions.

One thing is clear: the grassroots movement for water justice is only growing stronger. And as a supporter of Corporate Accountability, you are part of this movement.

Just look at what we’ve already accomplished together. For years, Corporate Accountability has organized alongside local groups and communities to stop private water corporations like Veolia and Suez from taking control of public water systems in U.S. cities like Baltimore and St. Louis. We’ve challenged the bottled water industry’s abuses everywhere from small towns in Michigan and Florida to our most cherished national parks. And we’re poised for so much more: My team recently attended an international water justice summit in Abuja, Nigeria with organizers, experts, and activists from around the world to strategize and advance the global campaign for the human right to water. 

Help advance water justice for all with your gift today
In order to advance public solutions that put the human right to water first, we know we need to call for more federal investment in our water systems. And we have our work cut out for us.
Water corporations like Nestlé and Veolia have spent decades undermining public confidence in tap water, contributing to a dramatic decline in federal public water funding. Claiming to solve these problems, private water corporations often target our cities with privatization schemes that are designed first and foremost to generate profit for the corporations -- not improve water systems.

The WATER Act would reverse the decades-long trend of dwindling investment in crucial infrastructure. It’s exactly what we need to rebuild our public water systems and ensure people across the U.S. have access to clean, safe water at rates all people can afford.

More than 8,000 activists just like you have already signed on to our petition asking their representatives to support the WATER Act. To build on this momentum, we’re asking our most dedicated supporters like you to support water justice for all with a donation today.

Water is not a commodity to be bought and sold: it is a human right. Your donation today will ensure Corporate Accountability can continue to challenge the corporate takeover of our water and advance water justice for people in the U.S. and around the world.

Alissa Weinman Onward,
Alissa Weinman
Senior Organizer
Corporate Accountability

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