unEARTHED, the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog


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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.


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.

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View David Guest's blog posts
13 October 2008, 9:54 AM

We won a significant victory in our phosphate case on Oct. 6. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspended a permit that gave Mosaic Phosphate the go-ahead to destroy 480 acres of high-quality wetlands within Southwest Florida's Peace River watershed.

Our court case is ongoing, but the Corps decision to suspend the permit shows that the permit didn't comply with the law and should never have been granted.

2 Comments   /  
View Sarah Burt's blog posts
10 October 2008, 1:31 PM
Low-income and indigenous communities disproportionately affected

Attention has been focused on the financial crisis recently. Yet a study headed by a Deutsche Bank economist concludes that the annual costs of forest destruction is between $2 trillion and $5 trillion. So while Wall Street has lost between $1-$1.5 trillion, we are losing "natural capital" at a rate of $2 to $5 trillion every year 

View Tom Turner's blog posts
09 October 2008, 6:00 AM

Another story the other day, this time from the San Jose Mercury News, showing the perils of importing predators to control pests.

This time it's the mosquitofish, a guppy-sized fellow, brought into California from the East Coast in the 1920s to control, you guessed it, mosquitoes. The fish are voracious—can eat 500 mosquito larvae in a day. This is very good, especially since West Nile virus hit the state in 1999. Mosquitofish have helped keep the virus, which is frequently carried by birds and then transmitted by mosquitoes that bite the birds, in relative check.

1 Comment   /  
View Tom Turner's blog posts
07 October 2008, 10:37 AM

It's not all that often that front-rank political leaders call for civil disobedience, but that's just what Al Gore did in New York on September 24 at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. "I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration," the ex-veep and planetary crusader said, "to loud applause," according to Reuters.

View Jared Saylor's blog posts
03 October 2008, 9:54 AM

The Washington Post editorialized yesterday about the expiration of the congressional ban on offshore drilling.

I certainly agree that "we need alternative sources of energy to help cure our addiction to imported oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions." But I do not believe we have to drill for oil in environmentally sensitive areas. We need to get serious about reducing our dependence on fossil fuels across the board if we are going to have any hope of winning on global warming. And I think that if we, as a society, decided to shift our focus, we'll be far down the path to a new energy future in the 10 years that it will take to bring this oil to market.

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
03 October 2008, 6:00 AM

The headline in an e-newsletter trumpeted: "Bush Plans for Environmental Legacy."  And apparently it wasn't a joke.

Bush is being pressed to protect the largest underwater canyon on Earth and some scattered atolls in the Pacific as national monuments. Bush may think it's OK to protect America's environment as long as it's in the ocean thousand miles away from the mainland.  (Should we ask for a national park in Iraq? He might like that too.)

At the same time, of course, he was pressing a slightly different environmental legacy for the oceans: stripping protection from much of America's coastline from petroleum drilling. And with the help of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, he got what he wanted.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
30 September 2008, 10:33 AM

What's happened in Congress during the last two weeks on energy and drilling issues could send us several major steps backwards on the road to a clean and prosperous energy future.

As I write this, Congress—instead of passing measures to further increase fuel efficiency and reduce oil demand—is capitulating to the "drill, baby, drill" drumbeat. At midnight, two critical moratoriums will lapse: on offshore drilling and oil shale development in the West. At the same time, crucial tax incentives for wind and solar energy have yet to be renewed.

11 Comments   /  
View David Guest's blog posts
29 September 2008, 6:00 AM

The phosphate mines in Florida are so damaging that their ugly scars on the planet can be clearly seen from space. Florida's public rivers, lakes, streams, and coastal waters pay the price for these corporate strip mines, year after year.

Attorney Monica Reimer in Earthjustice's Florida office has filed an important lawsuit that challenges federal approval for one of these mines near the beautiful Peace River outside Bradenton.

2 Comments   /  
View Brian Smith's blog posts
24 September 2008, 1:51 PM

We found it curious when the DC-based National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) sued a local air pollution board in California. Why would a big national trade association care about a local air pollution rule?

Well it turns out, NAHB had hoped to stop "Indirect Source Review" rules from spreading to other jurisdictions across the nation.

Earthjustice filed a defendant-intervenor brief defending the rule and you’ll be glad to know, the developers' lobby lawsuit was recently tossed out of court.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
24 September 2008, 6:11 AM

Earthjustice has been accused of being many things, including preferring birds over people (which reminds me of a fine old quote. Charles Callison, a stalwart of the Audubon Society, was once asked whether he liked people or birds better. He said, "I like the people who like birds.").

We've been called elitist. We've been accused of having little sympathy for working people. And we're not the only ones. The entire environmental movement is regularly derided by its opponents as secretly planning to destroy the economy and to lock up the great outdoors for its own private pleasure.

Just last week, we were attacked by name in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, accused of filing scores of lawsuits in a simple and effective effort to block offshore drilling and make people miserable. In case you missed it, I commend Trip's commentary on this subject. The article itself is here.

1 Comment   /