Eleven young Oregonians are among the 21 youth from around the country who have filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, alleging that the failure to take action to slow catastrophic climate change violates their Fifth Amendment rights. Renown climate change scientist and activist James Hansen has joined the suit, filed in federal district court in Eugene. Hansen and the other plaintiffs say that the president’s recently announced Clean Power Plan and other policy changes aimed at reducing carbon emissions, are grossly inadequate.

The Environmental Protection Agency responded to a request for comment, saying:

Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge we face. That’s why President Obama launched the Climate Action Plan and why EPA is taking action with our Clean Power Plan, to give our kids and grandkids the cleaner, safer future they deserve. We have a moral obligation to leave a healthy planet for future generations to come.
A child born today will turn fifteen in the year 2030 – the year when the full benefits of the Clean Power Plan will be realized. The actions we take now will clear the way for that child – and kids everywhere – to learn, play, and grow up in a world that’s not only clean and safe, but full of opportunity.

The new lawsuit also asks the administration to reverse the permits it granted for the Jordon Cove LNG project in Coos Bay. The company has not responded to calls or emails.


  • Alex Loznak: Roseburg High School graduate and plaintiff
  • James Hansen: Climate change scientist
  • Mary Wood: Law professor at the University of Oregon and director of UO’s Environmental Law Center.