Suing to Protect the Environment Could Get Pricey in Utah

Oh, Utah — sometimes you’re so cute, like with the recent news that you watch more porn than any other state. But then other times, you’re straight-up scary.


Pending legislation would require that any group looking to issue a stay against a project to prevent environmental harm must first post a bond to cover any potential monetary losses that the company in question may incur during the trial. The bill is predicted to pass sometime in the next week.

This legislation makes the Supreme Court’s recent ruling look like a gift to environmentalists. While the Supreme Court ruled that people can’t sue to stop activity on federal land, this legislation would mean that private citizens would be penalized for doing something like suing to stop construction a potentially hazardous factory in their neighborhood.

Their defense? Oh, it won’t affect people — it’ll just impact “the environmental groups.” Unfortunately, those big bad scary environmental groups commonly represent people who can’t afford to represent themselves.

This bill, HB379, has been called unconstitutional by many, yet it is still predicted to pass before the session ends next week. However, a similar bill passed in 2006 was vetoed by the governor — so we can hope for the same result this time.

Via: The Salt Lake Tribune
Photo Credit: decafinata on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

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