When Earthjustice wins environmental victories in the courts, the Policy and Legislation team fights back against the anti-environmental interests in Washington, D.C., that try to overturn those court decisions through legislation in Congress. To solidify the enduring impact of our legal victories, the Policy and Legislation team works with champions in Congress and in the administration to push legislation and policies that support and extends our gains.
The Policy and Legislation team has experts working with our clients and partners on environmental priorities across all of Earthjustice’s programmatic work. We are fighting for legislation and administrative policy that advances environmental justice, protects our lands, oceans, and wildlife, and secures a 100% clean energy future. Also housed within Policy and Legislation is the Access to Justice team, which defends against legislative and administrative attacks on the public’s ability to seek justice in the courts.
Priorities for 117th Congress:
- Power of the law: Seeking justice in court should be a right for everyone, not a privilege for powerful elites and polluting corporations. The Access to Justice team is fighting to reverse restrictive regulatory policies in administrative law that make it harder for the public to participate in government decision-making, promote agency policies and new statutory protections that will throw open the courthouse doors, and advocating to rebalance the courts with a sense of urgency and with a historic diversity of nominees who have a deep respect for science and environmental protections.
- Building an Equitable and Just Climate Future: We need a bold and equitable transition to a pollution-free, 100% clean energy economy that works for everyone, especially communities most impacted by climate change and toxic pollution. We are working to advance equitable and just climate policy that prioritizes emissions reductions and investments in environmental justice communities, build a zero emissions transportation and goods movement system, support more climate-friendly and systems-based agricultural practices, remove barriers to clean energy, and rethink the role of public lands and waters in fossil fuel development and production.
- Community-centered Environmental Advocacy: Fixing our Fundamentally Unjust System of Pollution Control: We must fix our fundamentally unjust system of pollution control by improving policies that systematically disadvantage historically sacrificed communities. The Policy and Legislation team is advocating for stronger pollution control standards and decisions that take into account cumulative impacts of longstanding polluting practices, and more to ensure that all people have access to a healthy and safe living and working environment. We are also pressing that the legacy pollution that has harmed these communities for decades finally be addressed.
- Biodiversity protection: The world is in the midst of a biodiversity crisis that threatens nature and humanity. One million species are at risk of extinction if we do not urgently deploy domestic and international solutions to the primary drivers of this crisis. We are fighting to protect national forests and other public land and biodiversity strongholds, build resilient ocean ecosystems, protect nature from unnecessary mining, and restore and strengthen the Endangered Species Act.
- Strengthening and defending the Worker Protection Standard: In 2015, Earthjustice and our farmworker partners strengthened the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard to protect farmworkers and their families from pesticide exposure and poisoning. Then, in 2017, when the Trump administration attempted to gut these basic protections, we successfully protected the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard along with our partners and secured legislation in 2019 that prevented then-President Trump from weakening nearly all of these protections.
- Defending access to justice at the U.S. Forest Service: Over the course of the 114th and 115th Congresses, we witnessed a sharp increase in legislation pushed by special interests to restrict people’s ability to use the courts to seek justice. The biggest environmental access to justice threats during the 115th Congress were attempts to limit the public’s access to the courts through the Forest Service. Earthjustice successfully defended against all 17 of these legislative attacks, including a bill that would have eliminated judicial review of the Forest Service by allowing the agency to divert legal challenges of their actions to arbitration.
- Defeating Big Oil and protecting the Methane and Waste Prevention Rule: In 2016, the Obama administration’s Bureau of Land Management finalized a safeguard to limit methane pollution from oil and gas operations on federal lands. Just months later, under the newly elected Trump administration, the oil and gas industry and their Congressional supporters tried to undo the BLM methane rule using the Congressional Review Act. Earthjustice, in coordination with a broad group of partners, Congressional allies, and thousands of supporters from across the country, successfully defeated Congressional attempts to roll back this important safeguard on the Senate floor.
- Permanently protecting Paradise Valley, the northern gateway to Yellowstone National Park from Gold Mining: Working in partnership with a wide variety of partners, groups, and businesses opposed to industrial gold mining north of Yellowstone National Park, in early 2019, we passed the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act as part of a larger package of lands bills in Congress. The passage of the bill, which provides permanent protection for this important landscape came after a large and concerted effort to garner bipartisan support to stop mining in this remote landscape that includes Yellowstone River tributaries and is in the heart of the Paradise Valley, a tourism-based economy that is also precious habitat for endangered grizzly bears, as well as wolverines, lynx, elk, and other species.
Contact Policy & Legislation Office
1001 G St. NW, Ste. 1000
Washington, D.C. 20001
Marty Hayden Vice President, Policy & Legislation
Phone: (202) 745-5218
Sara Cawley Legislative Representative
Coby Dolan Legislative Director
Issue Areas: Access to Courts; Regulatory (APA) issues; Judicial nominations
Phone: (202) 745-5207
Jessica Ennis Legislative Director, Climate and Energy
Issue Areas: State renewable energy (MD, CO, NM); Oil and gas development; Arctic Ocean
Phone: (202) 745-5202
Andrea Folds Associate Legislative Counsel, Lands, Wildlife, Oceans
Issue Areas: Oceans and fisheries; National marine monuments
Phone: (202) 745-5249
Raul Garcia Legislative Director, Healthy Communities
Issue Areas: Pesticides, Toxic Chemicals, Clean Air, Clean Water
Phone: (202) 797-5251
Julian Gonzalez Legislative Counsel
Issue Area: Clean Water
Phone: (202) 745-5217
Brielle Green Legislative Counsel
Issue Areas: Access to Courts; Regulatory (APA) issues; Judicial nominations
Phone: (202) 745-5205
Talia Harris Lobbying and Project Manager
Phone: (202) 797-4306
Addie Haughey Legislative Director
Issue Areas: Lands, Wildlife, Oceans
Jake Kornack Legislative Assistant
Issue Areas: Lands, Wildlife, & Oceans; Climate and Energy
Terry McGuire Senior Legislative Representative
Issue Areas: Clean air
Phone: (202) 745-5210
Michell McIntyre Campaign Director, Access to Justice
Issue Areas: Access to Justice coalition building & area expansion — courts, legislation, nomination, and regulations
Phone: (202) 745-5226
Blaine Miller-McFeeley Senior Legislative Representative
Issue Areas: Public lands; National forests; National monuments; Hardrock mining
Phone: (202) 745-5225
Tierra Mimms Administrative Assistant
Athena Motavvef Associate Legislative Representative
Issue Areas: Clean Transportation & Federal Climate Policy
Phone: (202) 797-5255
Nathan Park Legislative Assistant
Issue Areas: Access to Justice, Healthy Communities
Ranjani Prabhakar Senior Legislative Representative
Issue Areas: Climate & Agriculture, Equitable Climate Resiliency
Christine Santillana Legislative Counsel
Issue Areas: Healthy Communities: PFAS, coal ash, financial assurance for high risk industries (CERCLA)
Phone: (202) 797-4315
Daniel Savery Senior Legislative Counsel
Issue Areas: Toxic Chemicals / Petrochemicals
Stephen Schima Senior Legislative Counsel
Issue Areas: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) defense/NEPA issues
Phone: (202) 745-4500
Luis Nasvytis Torres Senior Legislative Representative
Issue Areas: Clean energy
Phone: (202) 797-4308