The Climate Bill of Rights is groundbreaking environmental legislation created and championed by the Boulder County Protectors of Colorado in coordination with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.


the boulder county protectors

declaration of climate rights

1. We have spoken clearly on the issue of oil and gas development and it is resolved that we do not want drilling in Boulder County under any circumstances. It is a violation of the land, the health of our families, and the well being of our communities and climate.

2. Any attempt to forcefully move fracking into Boulder County is a violation of our fundamental rights.

3. The laws that seek to remove us from protecting the land, the local environment, the climate, and our right to self govern are in every way immoral and illegitimate.

4. We have the right and obligation to protect the environment, our families, and our communities.

5. All government officials and staff will be asked to side with the people in every capacity, refuse to administer the destruction of the land and its climate, and enforce the will of the community to protect ourselves from any intrusive industry that fails to recognize these fundamental rights.

As a result of this declaration of climate rights by the Boulder County Protectors, the following Climate Bill of Rights & Protections was created in cooperation with CELDF ~ Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, to combat the oil and gas corporations harmful extraction practices.


Boulder County, Colorado, Climate Bill of Rights and Protections

Be it therefore enacted:

§1.0      Findings

We the people of Boulder County, Colorado, declare alignment with the Seven Generations principle of the indigenous First Nations, understand the environment as common to all and base our actions upon its indefinite protection;

We the People of Boulder County, Colorado, find that global environmental destruction, which includes degradation to the climate, ecosystems, flora, fauna, land, and water, constitutes an emergency that threatens our very survival;

We the People of Boulder County, Colorado, find that the extraction of coal, oil and gas, and disposal of drilling waste within the County would significantly contribute to global environmental destruction; and therefore,

We the People of Boulder County, Colorado, declare that we have a right to a healthy climate, and that right is violated by the extraction of coal, oil and gas, and disposal of drilling waste within the County.

§2.0      A County of Boulder, Colorado, Climate Bill of Rights

(a)    Right to a Healthy Climate. All residents and ecosystems of the County of Boulder possess a right to a healthy climate, which shall include the right to be free from all activities that interfere with that right, including the extraction of coal, oil, or gas, or disposal of drilling waste within the County of Boulder.

(b)   Right to Local, Community Self-Government. All residents of the County of Boulder possess the right to a form of governance which recognizes that all power is inherent in the people of the County and that all free governments are founded on the people’s authority and consent. Laws adopted by the people of the County shall only be preempted or nullified if they interfere with rights secured by the state or federal constitution to the people of the County, or if they interfere with protections provided to the people or ecosystems of the County by state, federal, or international law.

(c)    Right to Enforce. All residents of the County of Boulder possess the right to enforce this law. To secure this right, entities which violate the people’s right to a healthy climate shall not be deemed to be “persons,” nor possess any other legal rights, privileges, powers, or protections which would interfere with the enforcement of that right.

(d)   Right to Defense. Residents of the County of Boulder possess the right to have the County government of Boulder defend this law on the basis that a constitutional right of local, community self-government exists, that this law is an assertion of that right as it seeks to expand the rights of the people of the County of Boulder, and that the doctrines of ceiling preemption, municipal subordinancy to state government, or corporate “rights” unconstitutionally violate the right of the residents of the County of Boulder to local, community self-government.

§3.0      Direct Enforcement

 (a) Direct Action Enforcement. If the County of Boulder fails to enforce or defend this law, or a court

fails to uphold this law, any person may enforce this law through nonviolent direct action. If nonviolent direct action is taken to enforce the provisions of this law, law enforcement personnel employed by the County of Boulder shall be prohibited from arresting or detaining persons directly enforcing this law. “Direct action” as used by this provision shall mean any activities carried out to directly enforce the prohibitions of this law.

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
— John Muir, "Father of the U.S. National Parks"

What We've Achieved

  • Initiated the Colorado the, “Colorado Community Rights Amendment”, which would give people and communities superior rights and authority to corporations
  • Assisted neighboring towns in campaigning for local ballot initiatives pertaining to bans and moratoria on fracking locally
  • Successfully campaigned and won the most comprehensive ban on fossil fuel extraction in Colorado state history through the 2013 Community Bill of Rights
  • Conducting trainings across on the strategy, use, and implementation of nonviolent civil disobedience to prevent fracking
  • First grassroots organization within Lafayette, Colorado to address prevention of further oil and gas development, starting in 2012.
  • Passed the first municipal resolution in support of the First Nation fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline
  • Initiated the “Climate Bill of Rights and Protections”, the most powerful enforcement mechanism attempted in Colorado in Lafayette and Boulder County
  • Continuing the fight to stop all new drilling in Boulder County and create the civil rights necessary to protect the environment and our communities from corporate harms
  • Hosted numerous forums on the history of oil and gas drilling in Colorado, and assembled legal trainings on the systemic nature of the fracking problem