October 8, 2016
Shannon Biggs, Movement Rights (415) 841.2998 Shannon@movementrights.org
Casey Camp Horinek, Ponca Tribal Council (580) 716.7015 firstname.lastname@example.org
PONCA NATION CONSIDERS FRACKING & INJECTION BAN
Hosts Public Events October 15 to Explore ‘Rights of Nature’ Ban on Tribal Lands
Ponca City, OK – One month after the human-made 5.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Oklahoma, a growing number of residents are questioning whether fracking and injection wells are good for the state. Along with becoming the “Earthquake Capital of the World”, water contamination, cancers and air pollution have all been linked to the 30,000 active wells, compressors and processors statewide.
Despite mounting scientific data and public outcry, in 2015 state legislators passed two bills (SB 809 and SB 468) outlawing communities from banning or regulating fracking activities locally. Casey Camp Horinek, Ponca OK Tribal Council member, spoke at a Senate hearing before the bills were enacted, stating, “If the state refuses to protect residents from fracking and injection wells, the sovereign Ponca Nation will.”
Camp Horinek, who also testified on fracking at a Rights of Nature Tribunal in Paris, France during the UN Climate talks last December has been working to make good on that promise enlisting rights-based group Movement Rights, BOLD Oklahoma, and the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) to come to Ponca for a series of public events and private meetings with the Ponca Tribal Council. Says Camp Horinek, “All of the Ponca people who live within the area of the Conoco Phillips 66 refinery and the other fossil fuel extractive industries have family members who have cancer or who have died from cancer, or are suffering from autoimmune diseases such as lupus. It’s time to take a stand for our people and defend the Earth.”
Ponca tribal members, neighboring tribes and community members are all welcome to hear a presentation about how other communities, and most recently the Ho-Chunk tribal nation have recognized legal standing for ecosystems—also known as the rights of nature—to ban fracking activities.
Shannon Biggs, director of California-based Movement Rights says, “Dozens of US communities, a handful of countries and now the Ho-Chunk Nation have passed laws that stop treating nature as property to be destroyed, and recognize the right of ecosystems to exist and regenerate their vital cycles. They have used this new legal framework to protect their communities from harmful activities including fracking.”
Tom BK Goldtooth, IEN Executive Director adds, “The Rights of Nature provides an ethical and spiritual relationship to the Earth, and places human law in balance with Natural Laws.” It’s time we all throw our support behind tribes fighting overreaching energy development, says Ariel Ross, Payne County resident: “Stop Fracking Payne County stands with the Ponca Nation for their right to decide what happens on their tribal lands.”
Two public events take place Saturday Oct 15:
- (12 PM) meet at Dan Moran Park for Prayer Walk to Conoco Phillips, and;
- (3-7 PM) Free dinner, presentation and raffle hosted by Indigenous actor/artist Michael Horse at the Ponca Community Center at White Eagle. All are welcome. Donations will be accepted.