With the election of Barack Obama, our nation's long, dark environmental night appears to be ending. By all early indications an era of opportunity will replace eight years of opposition in which Earthjustice was forced to play a mostly defensive role.
This is the moment we've been waiting for, and with your continued support, we are set to pursue ambitious goals on behalf of the environment.
Only a few weeks ago, we weren't so optimistic. Oil prices were soaring, and the mantra "Drill, baby, Drill!" had swept the nation, led by cheerleaders who sought to take the nation even deeper into dependence on the world's most polluting, non-renewable energy sources.
Today, the leaders of that chant are standing on the sidelines, quieted by a resounding vote of no confidence in ideas that ruined our economy—an economy based on oil and coal dependency, unrestrained consumption, and irrationally exuberant deregulation.
The American people have turned to someone who believes, as we do, that the future of the economy and the future of the environment are entwined—that investment in clean, renewable energy will lead us to prosperity.
We see in this a remarkable opportunity for Earthjustice, through its role as law firm for the environment, to:
- Secure a clean energy future and stop global warming by ending our reliance on coal-fired power and oil; setting national efficiency standards; and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Win and enforce vital protections for endangered wildlife, including whales, grizzly bears, and wolves—and protect the habitat they need for survival.
- Advance our public health work to defend people against the harmful effects of air pollution, pesticides, hazardous wastes, and toxics in our drinking water.
- Assure that our national forests have the full protection of the Roadless Rule—including the Tongass National Forest.
- Safeguard Arctic natural resources and Native communities from oil and gas development onshore and offshore.
- Ensure clean water by promoting passage of the Clean Water Restoration Act.
Our immediate imperative is to help set the Obama administration's environmental agenda between now and when he takes office on January 20, and then take advantage of the momentum this administration will have in its first 100 days.
In the meantime, we will continue the effective legal and advocacy work that has kept our nation's environmental legacy and laws intact despite years of relentless assault on them by the current administration. Even now, on their way out of office, Bush and Cheney are laying a trail of environmental land mines. They are trying to gut the Endangered Species Act; allow greater destruction by mountain top removal coal mining; and pave the way for more coal-burning power plants that will accelerate global warming.
Rest assured, we'll keep fighting the Bush legacy for as long as it takes, and we ask you to stand with us as we pursue a more positive agenda that now seems within our reach.