Trip Van Noppen's Blog Posts

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Trip Van Noppen's 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.

Trip Van Noppen is Earthjustice's President who leads the organization's staff, board and supporters to advance its mission of using the courts to protect our environment and people's health. Growing up near the Linville Gorge and the Great Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina, he developed both a love of the natural world and a passion for fighting economic and social injustices. He feels that doing this work at Earthjustice, with its national and international impact, is the opportunity of a lifetime. When he is not working at Earthjustice, he loves to hike, see great theatre and be with loved ones.
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19 June 2008, 8:00 AM
 

There was more hope than lamentation in a New York Times editorial when it concluded this about the Senate's recent failure to address climate change:

The country needs a new occupant in the White House.

We agree—Congress is not likely to take the necessary actions on climate change without strong White House leadership.

Fortunately, neither McCain nor Obama will take seven years to admit global warming even exists—as the current president did. Both of them pledge to aggressively take action on climate change.

But, we wonder, as does the Times, whether any candidate appreciates how urgent the situation is, and how much political will is needed to transform this country into being the environmental leader of a world in ecological crisis.

For guidance, the candidates should come to Denver on June 26 and listen to the gutsy governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius. At the invitation of Earthjustice, Gov. Sebelius will tell how her 9-month battle with powerful political and economic interests made Kansas the first state to reject a coal-fired power plant because of its global warming emissions.

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21 May 2008, 10:55 AM
 

Hundreds of angry people, urged on by a right-wing talk show host, called Earthjustice recently to ask why we are challenging plans to drill in Alaska's Arctic Ocean.

Like many Americans, the callers are suffering from gasoline price increases and other costs, like food, that have gone up with the price of oil. They had been led to believe that drilling in Alaska would bring gas prices back down and restore America's place in the world.

But they are victims of yet another cynical attempt to use gas prices for political purposes. The oil industry and its political allies hope to manipulate consumer pain to rile up political support for drilling oil any place it can be found.

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17 April 2008, 10:59 AM
 

No matter what the president said Wednesday about his global warming commitment, many of America's governors aren't buying. Long ago they gave up hope of White House leadership on the subject and have taken matters into their own hands.

Today, the governors are meeting at Yale to discuss ways they can combat global warming that directly affect their states. At the heart of their discussions are greenhouse gas emissions, from vehicles and coal-fired power plants, that the administration refuses to control or won't let states control.

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25 March 2008, 1:08 PM
 

Six years after the head of the Environmental Protection Agency resigned because of political interference, almost every EPA employee is begging the current administrator to quit—as in, quit letting politics drive agency decisions.

The 10,000 employees publicly accused Administrator Stephen L. Johnson of ignoring their advice as well as scientific principles in his eagerness to appease political and private sector interests. What really galled them is his refusal to let California regulate global warming emissions from vehicles. But, they cited other examples of how Johnson has sullied the agency and its mission since he took over in 2005—including decisions on mercury from coal plants and on pesticide regulations that Earthjustice is litigating.

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25 February 2008, 2:10 PM
 

With late winter, sunlight returns to the North Pole, revealing an ice-bound ocean that looks deceptively like it always has—a frozen, pristine wilderness. Deceptive, because profound and rapid change is underway from the forces of climate change and our relentless quest for energy.

Year-round ice that once gouged trenches 1,300 feet below the ocean surface is now so thin in the Arctic seas that summers may be ice-free in 30 years, if not sooner, exposing an entire wild ocean to large-scale economic exploitation and ecological devastation.