Saturday, August 20, 2011

Megaloads, Water Company:Ordinances Help Local Communities Fend off Corporations

"Communities are no longer accepting that they don't have the authority to say ‘no' to megaloads, or drilling, mining, water withdrawals," said Mari Margil, CELDF associate director. "Instead, through legally binding law, they're defining what their communities will look like, and necessarily removing the authority of state and corporations to override the community's self-governing authority."

"It doesn't seem like we have democracy in our community." So CELDF steps in, helps people understand why the current structure of law makes it so, and its organizers work with communities to challenge the existing structure and assert their right to self govern."

"The protections in it [Community rights ordinance] are layered: It bans the unwanted projects; it invalidates state permits granted in violation of the local ordinance; and it states private companies can't use their corporate constitutional rights to override the will of the community.

 March 20, 2011
Last year, ExxonMobil publicly reared its head in Montana with a plan to shoehorn 200 megaloads onto U.S. Highway 12. Since then, the Carlyle Group announced the pending purchase of the California company that owns Mountain Water in Missoula.

Activism is alive and well here, and Missoulians are writing letters, signing petitions and marching in the streets. In City Hall, Mayor John Engen is getting emails calling for the city of Missoula to buy Mountain Water.

On the other end of town, in the wee hours of March 10, hundreds of activists temporarily plugged Reserve Street when the first megaloads rolled through Missoula - these big rigs belonging to ConocoPhillips. But the giant trucks passed anyway, just as they had inched along the federally protected highway along the Lochsa River....continued.....