We expected strong opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal for slashing emissions from the nation’s dirty power plants—the biggest contributors to climate change. But two weeks after the Obama administration rolled out its plan, the strongest reaction, so far, is from America’s people.
Today, because of unrelenting pressure from so many people who have demanded action on climate change, the Obama administration proposed the nation’s first-ever carbon pollution limits on existing power plants—the single biggest source of climate pollution.
Just getting this rule proposed has taken years of effort, and we are thankful for all of our supporters who sent messages urging our public officials to address climate change
Carbon limits for power plants are vitally important for a few key reasons:
Over the last few weeks, the nation’s federal courts—including the U.S. Supreme Court—have blessed Americans with four major clean air victories that will save tens of thousands of lives and allow millions of us to live healthier. Some of these achievements came only after years of struggle by Earthjustice and our allies.
"A Who's Who of pesticides is therefore of concern to us all. If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals, eating and drinking them, taking them into the very marrow of our bones - we had better know something about their nature and their power." –Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
In 1982, when I was a young lawyer in North Carolina, the state had to clean up miles of roadsides where toxic PCBs had been illegally dumped. The state decided to dispose of the toxic waste in a landfill which it proposed to place in a predominantly low-income African-American community in Warren County, far from where the clean-up was occurring. The decision sparked protests from the community, and activists from the broader civil rights world joined the fight.
(Clarification: This column references a letter by California Public Utilities Commissioner Mark Ferron, who said public utilities would likely “strangle” rooftop solar if they could. In a separate part of the letter, he blamed the fossil fuel industry for preventing a national policy on climate change and energy, which as the column points out, is evidenced by the industry’s national attack on distributed energy sources like rooftop solar.)
President Obama has said we need “an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy.” However, a zealous pursuit of an “all of the above strategy” seriously undermines the president’s ability to achieve a far more important goal that he has set: to lead this country and the world toward smart policies that combat climate change.
The Board of Trustees and staff of Earthjustice express our profound sorrow and deepest sympathies to the family for the loss of our great friend and longtime trustee, Fred Meyer. Fred was a rock and source of great wisdom, fidelity, clarity and constancy of vision, accountability, perception, humor, compassion and worldly acumen and knowledge.
The White House “systematically” delayed finalizing a host of environmental and public health safeguards for political reasons before the 2012 election, reported The Washington Post last February. With many of these rules still awaiting approvals more than a year after the election, the Post recently revisited its investigation into the politics of continued White House delays.