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.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S 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.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
22 September 2008, 2:57 PM
 

I heard Al Gore on "NPR Science Friday" a few weeks back talking about what it would take to get us out of the climate catastrophe that's bearing down on us. The biggest single step, he said, would be to convert the entire U.S. vehicle fleet to electricity. He said that is possible within 10 years if we—industry and government in the main—mount an effort akin to what we did for World War II.

All well and good, but government and industry almost never move that fast.

Until now. The Wall Street-mortgage-Fannie-Freddie-Merrill-AIG-who's-next crisis has politicians, bureaucrats, and captains of industry moving faster than they ever have before, and we're about to see a $700 billion bailout that may not even work.

Just think if those same forces took the climate crisis seriously enough to do something similar on that score. We could turn the climate mess around in Al Gore's 10 years, easy. And everyone would be the better for it, including Wall Street.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
18 September 2008, 11:38 AM
 

On Wednesday, Congressman John Shadegg (R-Arizona) attacked Earthjustice in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, and called on Congress to prevent environmental organizations from suing to prevent expansive offshore oil drilling. Here is the response from Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen.

Congressman Shadegg's misguided opinion of environmental laws is unfortunate, yet not entirely unexpected. His recent introduction last week of a bill that authorizes the President or his designee to "waive any legal requirements to a covered energy project" (H.R. 6887) is perhaps the biggest insult to the millions of American who depend on these laws to ensure clean air, clean water and protections for our lands, oceans and environment.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
17 September 2008, 4:47 PM
 

Judge Clarence Brimmer of the federal district court in Wyoming must feel a bit under siege. He's doing battle with two other federal district court judges, one in San Francisco, the other in Washington, DC. Judges are encouraged to respect each other's opinions—it's called comity, otherwise known as courtesy or deference—and comity is taking a bit of a beating these days.

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
15 September 2008, 12:03 PM
 

Forests are helping reduce global warming, but global warming is killing forests.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
05 September 2008, 4:41 PM
 

Just a few weeks ago, I stood with my two young sons in the Southern Sierra, gazing at the fortress walls of the Great Western Divide and marveling at how peaceful it seemed compared to 30 years before.

Those decades ago, I had come to this same spot as a newspaper reporter to write about the early struggles of the environmental movement - struggles that saved Mineral King from development, halted clearcutting on the national forest, created the Golden Trout Wilderness, and gave birth to Earthjustice.

But there was a bitter side to those victories, as I quickly learned. First, my editor cursed me publicly in the newsroom when he discovered my green bent; then perversely assigned me the job of covering the closure of Johnsondale, a bankrupt Sierra timber town. He wanted me to feel the consequences of environmental activism.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
03 September 2008, 2:46 PM
 

A few weeks ago we wrote of a former Earthjustic law clerk, Jamie Saul, who was blackballed out of a job at the Department of Justice because he favored vigorous enforcement of environmental laws. Maybe blackballed is the wrong word—he applied for a job and didn't get it for reasons that were certainly improper and possibly illegal.

The DoJ looked into such hiring practices in the wake over the scandal over the firing of several U.S. attorneys for what sure look like political reasons. Turns out politics infected decisions involving more than U.S. attorneys.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
27 August 2008, 4:44 PM
 

Congressional Republicans, led by former congressman Richard Pombo, tried in vain for years to gut the Endangered Species Act. They were thwarted largely because the law is so popular with the public.

Now the Bush crowd is trying to do by fiat what it couldn't accomplish in the legislative arena: rewrite the rules.

View David Guest's blog posts
22 August 2008, 2:50 PM
 

By this time, most everyone has heard about the historic deal in the Florida Everglades: U.S. Sugar will sell the state of Florida 187,000 acres that sit between giant Lake Okeechobee and Everglades National Park.

That's 187,000 acres that will no longer be drenched with poison pesticides and fertilizers. It is industrial farmland that blocks the Everglades' natural water flow—now it can hold and filter water as it moves south toward Florida Bay.

To say we're ecstatic down here is a massive understatement. This is the largest conservation deal in Florida history.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
22 August 2008, 1:00 AM
 

Bill Neukom is a seasoned attorney in a prominent Seattle firm. He served as Microsoft's general counsel and for the past year has been the President of the American Bar Association. His main project at the ABA is engaging leading lawyers, judges, politicians, and others around the world to promote the rule of law. He leads the World Justice Project and has developed the Rule of Law Index, measuring the strength of legal protections and the degree of corruption in the world's legal systems. Strengthening environmental law is one of the goals of this effort.

So Neukom's observations about the how environmental laws are faring here in the US carry particular weight. In a recent press conference, he talked about the failure of the Congress and the executive branch agencies to make sure that our environmental laws are enforced and are updated to address new problems and developing science. The critical task of putting teeth in our environmental laws, seeing that they are carried out to protect the public's health, wild places and wildlife, has instead fallen to public interest litigators. Because our political leadership has abdicated its job, Earthjustice and our allies have taken on the job as the front line of defense for environmental protection.

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
20 August 2008, 6:00 AM
 

Death Valley protected from attempt to use old, repealed law to put dirt bikes in National Park wilderness

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