Q: Can we the people of NJ sue the government to stop the industrialization of our oceans?
The surveying of our oceans during pre-construction is killing our marine life, fishing industry, property values tourism hurting human health and will cause our electric bills to sky rocket. No one wants them. Our NJ Governor Phil Murphy gave the Danish company $1 billion of our tax payers money to 1 company Orsted. Can we fight back legally????
A: Yes, although the real question is whether you will be able to succeed.
Certainly, concerned citizens have legal avenues to assert their rights and raise their grievances against government actions that they believe are harmful to the environment and the community. In the context of New Jersey and the actions of Governor Phil Murphy that you described, there are a number of potential strategies that you and like-minded individuals might pursue.
Firstly, you could consider initiating a public interest litigation. Public interest litigation would be a legal challenge brought in court, on behalf of the public, to address a public harm. In your case, the alleged harm would be the negative environmental and economic impacts resulting from the industrialization of New Jersey’s oceans. You would be expected to demonstrate the harm being caused, utilizing evidence such as scientific reports on environmental impact, testimonies from experts, and data on economic setbacks to the fishing industry and tourism sector.
Secondly, citizens can team up with environmental organizations or form citizen groups to exert pressure through advocacy, public awareness campaigns, and lobbying to influence policy decisions and call for greater transparency and environmental safeguards.
You could also seek to initiate a legislative action through your local or state representatives, urging them to draft legislation that imposes stricter regulations on ocean industrialization and promotes sustainable practices.
Furthermore, you may look into whether there are existing federal or state environmental laws that require the government to assess the environmental impacts of such projects. In the U.S, there is a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that mandates a detailed environmental impact assessment for certain projects. If the proper assessments were not conducted, or were conducted improperly, this might provide grounds for a legal challenge.
Lastly, considering mobilizing community opposition to create a groundswell of resistance. Grassroots movements often gain momentum through community organization and can sometimes effectively change policy direction.
Before moving forward with any legal action, it would be highly advised to consult with an attorney who specializes in environmental law to understand the full scope of your legal options and the best strategies to pursue. It is indeed your right to seek legal pathways to ensure that government actions are in line with the environmental norms and the broader interests of the community.
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