Court cites Dr Seuss’s The Lorax in rebuke to US Forest Service

Dec 20, 2018 by

The Guardian

Federal court in Virginia says officials were trusted to ‘speak for the trees’ as it tosses out pipeline permit

A still from the film of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax. The book tells of the creature’s efforts to save a forest.
 A still from the film of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax. The book tells of the creature’s efforts to save a forest. Photograph: Publicity image from film company

A federal court in the US has cited the classic Dr Seuss children’s book The Lorax as it lambasted the US Forest Service for granting an energy company permission to build a natural gas pipeline across two national forests.

“We trust the United States Forest Service to ‘speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues’,” the three-judge panel of the fourth US circuit court of appeals in Virginia wrote this week as it threw out the permit.

The government agency had granted permission for the Atlantic Coast pipeline to be built through the George Washington and Monongahela national forests and have a right of way across the Appalachian Trail, NPR reported.

The Lorax, written in 1971, chronicles the efforts of the titular small, furry creature to save a forest of “Truffula trees” from the capitalist predations of “the Once-ler”, who is seeking to chop them all down in the name of industry.

The book is seen as a clarion call for the environmental movement and has previously come under attack from the logging industry.

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