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Earthjustice Staff Attorney Isaac Moriwake stands on his rooftop.

As public-interest environmental lawyers at Earthjustice, we’ve gone up against our share of billion-dollar companies that don’t have the best interests of the environment and planet at heart. While we count on the power of justice to overcome their almighty dollars, every so often, we win a victory so big, so fulfilling, so right, because it brings together years of hard work and opens up opportunities and hope for the future.

School crossing guard Be Be White stops traffic on South Pearl Street for children, including his son Brayton and Sanaiya, both six years old. White, who has lived in Ezra Prentice Homes for 12 years is among the residents who attended meetings against th

This week, the residents of Ezra Prentice Homes in Albany, NY, won a key victory in court against a Fortune 500 fossil fuel company that is trying to turn their community into a major oil transport hub.

Since 2014, my Earthjustice colleagues and I have represented residents of the Ezra Prentice Homes, the neighboring public housing development, in their fight against the proposal by Global Companies to import, heat, store and handle tar sands oil at the company’s Albany facility. 

Kathryn Hansen/NASA https://flic.kr/p/ccpiP9

This week the Alaska federal district court entered an order bringing to a close a long-running legal challenge to offshore oil and gas leases in the Chukchi Sea, brought by Earthjustice. At the request of all the parties to the litigation, the court dismissed the case regarding the Department of Interior’s Lease Sale 193 in recognition of dramatically changed circumstances. Oil companies have now abandoned all but one of the 487 offshore oil leases issued pursuant to the sale. The sole remaining lease belongs to Shell, where it drilled unsuccessfully in 2015.

John Crux/Shutterstock

It wasn’t especially charismatic, just a small rodent, scurrying around on an extremely limited patch of habitat on a low-lying island on the surface of the Great Barrier Reef. Yet the disappearance of the Australian Bramble Cay melomys made headlines this summer—because scientists deemed the critter, also known as the mosaic-tailed rat, to be the first mammal to go extinct as a result of manmade climate change.

Doc Searls/CC BY-SA 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/2VJGg9

Last month, with the stunning backdrop of Yosemite National Park behind him, President Obama described the havoc climate change is wreaking on national parks and other cherished natural areas. He called out those who talk about tackling greenhouse gas pollution, but do nothing to stop it:

“This planet belongs to all of us.  It’s the only one we’ve got.  And we can’t give lip service to that notion, but then oppose the things that are required to protect it.”  

Photo courtesy of Dylan Hansen

In 1969, Time magazine published an arresting photo of a river so badly polluted by an oil slick that it actually caught fire.

That image became a flash point for the nation’s disgust with widespread pollution. Three years later, citizens pressured Congress to pass the Clean Water Act. Today, we know that the photo of Ohio’s Cuyahoga River that Time published in 1969 was actually taken 17 years earlier. But, for whatever reason, the extent of the Cuyahoga’s pollution problem didn’t resonate nationally until Time published that fiery photo in 1969.

skhoward/iStock

When I was a kid, processed cheese was a family camping staple. It tasted great, melted beautifully and, most importantly, didn’t spoil easily. We didn’t think of it as “processed cheese food,” or wonder what exactly it was made out of. And we certainly didn’t suspect that the plastic it was wrapped in might be leaching hormone-disrupting chemicals into our campfire dinners.

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About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.