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Heather Kathryn Ross's blog

Abbie Dillen, Earthjustice VP of Litigation for Climate and Energy

“Sometimes there’s virtue in having no choice but to fight like hell, and that’s this moment,” says Abbie Dillen, Earthjustice’s vice president of litigation for climate and energy.

Dillen uses the law to make way for clean energy by outmaneuvering the fossil fuel industry, with the goal of halting the most devastating impacts of climate change.

Destiny Watford, above, organized a movement opposing the nation’s largest trash-burning incinerator slated for her neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland.

In April, 20-year-old Destiny Watford became the youngest recipient of the prestigious 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for grassroots activists. Watford organized a student and community movement to oppose the nation’s largest trash-burning incinerator, planned for her neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland. Energy Answers, the project backer, applied for government subsidies, claiming that the incinerator would be a source of clean energy.

West Oakland organizers recently led their community to victory against a multi-million dollar dirty energy proposal. Reverend Ken Chambers (above) of Oakland’s West Side Missionary Baptist Church was one of the most outspoken opponents of the plan.

On July 19, the people of Oakland, California, halted a multi-million dollar dirty energy project in its tracks. The Oakland City Council, bolstered by the support of thousands of residents, voted to ban shipments of coal from the city in response to a proposal from powerful local developer Phil Tagami. Tagami’s plan was to use more than $50 million in taxpayer money to bring 10 million tons of coal a year from Utah to the West Oakland waterfront by train.

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

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As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service and its mission to “conserve the scenery…unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations," it’s important to remember that all national parks and monuments are worth defending—large and small, urban and wild, accessible and remote.

Margo Pellegrino recently made a solo journey from New York City to Chicago by canoe. She navigated through three of the five Great Lakes, including Lake Erie, above.

Since 2007, Margo Pellegrino has paddled her outrigger canoe from Miami to Maine, Seattle to San Diego and Cape May to Montauk in order to educate the public about the threats facing rivers, lakes and oceans. Her tireless, one-woman quest to keep our waterways clean is motivated by her young son and daughter.

“I’m more than a little concerned about what we’re leaving behind for them,” Pellegrino says.

Low attendance at EPA meetings

“Am I in the right place?” I wondered. The EPA staffers were there, the leaflets arranged, the recorders rolling—but only a handful of the room’s hundred seats were filled. The EPA held a public meeting January 20th in Oakland, Calif., to ask for feedback on proposed changes to rules that guide how the agency deals with civil rights complaints. Just four people came to speak that Wednesday night, and three were with non-profits like Earthjustice that already regularly talk to the EPA.

Timber wolf, Josef Pittner/iStock

In 2014, Earthjustice won a major court victory to return wolves in Wyoming to protected status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). But in mid-2015, members of Congress slipped a policy “rider” into House and Senate spending bills that would have overridden that Wyoming court decision as well as another federal court decision, stripping wolves in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota of ESA protections.

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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.