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Put pipelines in the past

Delivery to the Biden administration

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What’s At Stake

More than 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipelines crisscross the United States, traversing plains, desert, forests, and mountains. They run through lakes, rivers, aquifers, and waterways, endangering the ecosystems and communities in their paths and fueling the climate crisis. The threats from pipelines may be big, but they are solvable.

With every approval of a new pipeline project, the federal government locks us into decades of rising climate pollution at a time when we cannot afford any more. The hazards associated with pipelines also deepen historical injustices, as fossil fuel infrastructure is often deliberately proposed in places where residents lack financial wealth and political influence.

And with every pipeline comes the risk of oil spills and gas leakages that can cause irreversible environmental damage. Serious pipeline failures have devastated communities and ecosystems, obliterated wildlife and plants, and contaminated the drinking water of millions of households and businesses — and they happen much more often than reported. Then, the toxic fallout of a pipeline spill can be physically and psychologically harmful to the clean-up workers and affected communities.

Earthjustice has spent decades challenging pipelines as a legal partner for communities whose right to clean air, safe drinking water, and unspoiled lands are being denied by the harmful excesses of the fossil fuel industry — and together, we are growing stronger.

Join the growing chorus of people speaking out against pipelines. Our elected leaders need to hear from all of us -- starting with the Biden administration. President Biden took bold action on his first day in office by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline; however, his administration is yet to make the right decision to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline, so we need to keep up the pressure. Call on this administration to take decisive action to stem the flow of fossil fuels and implement strong, comprehensive federal regulations for oil and gas pipelines.

The construction of a gas pipeline in Michigan.
Consumers Energy / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The construction of a gas pipeline in Michigan.

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue. Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn more about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.