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Oil wells near La Habra, 1920s

This week, residents of La Habra Heights, California, rang in the New Year with a victory that ensures the small town will have a fair chance at banning new oil and gas drilling come election time in March. 

La Habra Heights, located in Los Angeles County, is known for its scenic beauty and canyon living. The area is also at the center of major expansion plans for oil and gas operations and the potential proliferation of new, unconventional techniques like fracking and acidization in the region.

Smokestacks loom up from a hazy sky, tinged with orange, at sunset.

Today the D.C. Circuit rejected an EPA attempt to delay the deadline for cities and counties to bring unhealthy levels of ozone pollution—also known as smog—down to safe levels. The court also rejected the EPA’s attempt to prematurely let some areas out of an important pollution control requirement designed to permanently lower smog levels. We represented NRDC in the case.

An industrial hog farm

In early December, environmentalists and community members celebrated a rare win against industrial agriculture and federal malfeasance in Arkansas. In a court case brought by Earthjustice, U.S. District Judge Price Marshall issued a decision finding that federal agencies illegally guaranteed loans to C&H Hog Farms, a factory farm near the Buffalo National River, without first effectively evaluating the potential environmental impacts of this swine operation.

Diamantina River in Channel Country

In a remote part of Australia, in the state of Queensland, lies a vast area called Channel Country. Winding rivers with large water holes and multiple channels braid across wide floodplains in a remarkable arid landscape. But every now and then huge floods cause the rivers to overflow, transforming the landscape into verdant wetlands that provide vital habitat for waterbirds, fish, reptiles and mammals. 

The E.W. Brown Generating Station in 2011.

[Updated on 12.22.14] Late Friday afternoon, the Kentucky Public Service Commission approved the solar project. Expected to go online in 2016, the project becomes the Commonwealth’s largest solar facility and appears to be the first utility-scale renewable energy project in the state.

Drilling in the Uinta Basin near the town of Ouray.

The people living in the Uinta Basin in eastern Utah are the unwitting participants in a massive scientific experiment.  What happens when you put more than 11,000 oil and gas wells in a geologic basin and then seal off the air for days or weeks on end?  And the initial results are alarming—smog pollution that exceeds the federal standard set to protect public health by a whopping 89 percent.

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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.