Fractivist groups have been attempting to brand lawsuits filed by oil and gas companies as First Amendment issues, but this isn’t even close to being true.
Our founding fathers had outstanding foresight when they began drafting the Constitution. When the Bill of Rights was proposed, several of them were against detailing those rights we now as the Bill of Rights. This was not a case of believing those rights were insignificant, but rather, a fear that detailing such individual rights would limit them to the original 10 (the list had included 12, but only 10 were approved).
We now have a Bill of Rights that most of us hold to be next to sacred and, as I see it, they’re in order of precedence. The First Amendment is the foundation of all our freedoms. This is why I hold this amendment close, for better and for worse, and will always side with our ability to speak freely.
I offer this preface with regard to my beliefs because of a recent article on the Desmog Blog, a fractivist website that dispenses with facts in favor of emotional appeals. The blog recently posted an article with the hyped-up title of “Oil and Gas Industry’s 2017 Suing Spree Could Set Speech-Chilling Precedents.” This headline caught my attention as I worried briefly I had perhaps missed something big. Like them or hate them, fractivists have a right to speech, and I will choose that right over nearly anything; making me think for once that I might need to stand up for them.