Fighting for the Climate Necessity Defense in the Valve Turners Trials

CLDC provides legal support and representation to all of the Valve Turners who engaged in direct action to protect the climate from the fossil fuel industry. In 2016 climate defenders shut off valves on the four pipelines that carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada into the United States. Their action blocked 15 percent of U.S. crude oil imports for nearly an entire day.

The activists took these actions with the intention of bringing forth a climate necessity defense in the various state courts of Washington, Montana, Minnesota and North Dakota. The legal teams drafted extensive legal briefing on the necessity defense, and lined up dozens of expert witnesses including scientists, policy experts, movement experts and engineers. These professionals were ready to inform the jury exactly why the Valve Turner actions were justified (or necessary) in the face of imminent climate catastrophe – exacerbated by carbon emissions from tar sands oil extraction and government inaction on climate policy.

Read about our recent victory here: Leonard Higgins Walks Free

Help support our work defending the Valve Turners and fighting for the necessity defense by becoming a member or making a donation today!

If you would prefer to donate by check you can mail donations to: Civil Liberties Defense Center, 1430 Willamette St., #359, Eugene, Oregon 97401.


The Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) is a non-governmental 501c3 nonprofit, supported by individual and community contributions, donations to the CLDC are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our tax ID number is 58-2670951.