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Tribes and environmentalists plan conference to fight fossil fuel industry

Environmentalists and members of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma plan to hold a three-day Frontline Oil and Gas Conference in a fight against Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry and fossil fuels.

An estimated 200 people are expected on hand for the event that will be held May 16, 17 and 18. It’s designed to be a discussion of “Rights of Nature” as groups fight the industry.

Activist Casey Horinek-Camp, who made an unsuccessful bid to unseat Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony last fall is behind the effort.

“Our communities are being ripped apart by the oil and gas industry and this weekend we’ll be mending the cracks and building our collective power to fight back,” she said in announcing the conference.

“The Rights of Nature is now law in 8 countries and dozens of US communities, providing new legal protections for ecosystems. It is one of many innovative strategies for a just transition from fossil fuels emerging from the frontlines of oil and gas activities,” added Horinek-Camp.

In the wake of strong earthquakes that rattled the area in recent years, the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma has banned fracking and injection wells and in 2018 became the first tribe in the US to recognize legal standing for nature, known as the Rights of Nature.

A rally and march will wrap up the event on Saturday, May 18. Protesters will mark along Ponca City’s refinery corridor on highway 60.

The Ponca Nation isn’t the only sponsor of the three-day event. Others include Movement Rights, Earthworks, Indigenous Environmental Network, Stand Earth, Stop Fracking Payne County, Stop the Frack attack, Oil Change International, the Center for Biological Diversity,, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Beyond Extreme Energy and Native Organizers Alliance.

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