Community Rights Strategy

Social Movement Game Changer for All of Corporate America

You’ve got to love it when “Corporate America” notices that CELDF’s Community Rights organizing “is the beginning of a social movement that is greater than just the oil and gas industry, it is a potential game changer for all of corporate America.”

Why Corporate America Needs To Pay Attention

EXCERPT FROM: Energy New Mexico, A Publication of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico

“…Earlier this year, Mora County, New Mexico became the first county in the nation to pass a complete ban on oil and gas development. The Mora County Community Rights ordinance states that corporations may not drill, extract, or contract for any oil and gas development. Further stating, corporations have no rights to free speech or the right to go to court to protect their corporate or even private property.”

“Specifically, corporations have no rights under the 1st, 5th, or 14th Amendments of the United States or New Mexico Constitutions and the county has the right to ignore all federal and state laws regulating oil and gas development.”

“Framed as the “new civil rights movement for the younger generation,” the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is leading the fight against corporations and the oil and gas industry. The CELDF drafted the Mora County Ordinance and has announced that it will defend the county against any legal challenges all the way to the United States Supreme Court.”

“In November 2013, IPANM and several land and mineral owners filed a suit in Federal court against Mora County. The suit alleges violations of corporate constitutional rights. Effectively, the Mora County ban and other ordinances seeking to limit corporate and private rights is a test of ‘home rule’ that allows any local government to create its own laws. This includes banning any unpopular businesses without the protection of the state or federal laws.”

“While industry, the media and the public might ignore all the commotion created about the hydraulic fracturing discussion, this issue is the beginning of a social movement that is greater than just the oil and gas industry, it is a potential game changer for all of corporate America.”


The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, headquartered in Mercersburg, PA, has offered free services to people and communities since 1995 to assert their fundamental rights to democratic local self-governance, and to enact laws which end destructive and rights-denying corporate action aided and abetted by state and federal governments.

On the fracking issue alone, CELDF has drafted more than twenty Community Bills of Rights – ordinances and charter amendments – that were enacted to ban fracking and protect the health, safety and welfare of people and nature, beginning in 2010 with the Pittsburgh Community Bill of Rights. We stand ready to help others.

Ben Price | | Director of National Organizing | 717-254-3233


American Revolution – British Preemption of Local Laws First Complaint


A Statewide Rights Based Strategy to Ban Fracking in Colorado


“We are trying to make the will of communities superior to the will of corporations,” Cliff Willmeng “This is not just about oil and gas, Willmeng said.  It’s about any project that puts a community at risk.” Cities could block business, drilling, under Colorado ballot measure – The Denver Post

“It pollutes the ground water, and it pollutes the air, said Lotus, member of the Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights and the Colorado Community Rights Network. Even if there are a few temporary jobs created, it’s not worth it.” Anti-fracking group hopes to amend state constitution –