Election Stalls Progress Towards A Healthier Planet

A new and hostile congressional leadership is not new to Earthjustice

This page was published 13 years ago. Find the latest on Earthjustice’s work.

There is no reason to beat around the bush: Tuesday’s election results are a setback in our progress towards a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable planet.

At a time when the world desperately needs leadership from the United States, voters have installed in the House of Representatives those who have vowed to do all they can to obstruct progress in cleaning up dirty coal-burning power plants, reducing health-destroying and climate-disrupting pollution, and protecting wild places and wildlife.

Yet, while the news is bad, we can take heart that the election was not a referendum on the environment. Voters still want clean water, healthy air, protected public lands, and action on transitioning from dirty power plants to a clean energy economy.

Californians resoundingly affirmed their commitment to progress on climate change by defeating an oil industry initiative to dismantle the state’s innovative climate law. This underscores our belief that, despite campaign rhetoric from the new House leadership, the public will not tolerate a roll back of fundamental environmental protections.

Moreover, when overzealous legislators prevent environmental agencies from doing their jobs, Earthjustice kicks into action. We’ve been there before—during the entire Bush administration, our litigation preserved roadless areas of the national forests, essential clean air standards and endangered species protections.

We anticipated an increase in hostile attacks after the elections and have expanded our staffing across the organization to take on these fights.

Over the next two years, Earthjustice will continue to work in the courts, make use of strong partnerships with client groups, and apply savvy lobbying and communications skills, to:

• Defend EPA’s early actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change
• Push EPA forward and defend its actions in finalizing new rules that will clean up or retire hundreds of dirty coal-fired power plants across the country
• Prevent oil development in the Alaskan Arctic Ocean
• Force public disclosure about and seek better health-based controls on toxic chemicals we are exposed to every day
• Protect national forest roadless areas and our other public lands
• Keep basic endangered species protections in place so long as needed for wolves, grizzly bears and many other treasured species
• Prevent overfishing of our oceans and restore fish and other marine species to sustainable levels.

These and many other issues are the heart of our work—just as supporters like you are the heart of Earthjustice. Your support has made possible our many accomplishments and assures that we can continue to deliver results no matter what shifts occur in the political arena.

Thank you for all the loyalty you have shown.


Trip Van Noppen served as Earthjustice’s president from 2008 until he retired in 2018. A North Carolina native, Trip said of his experience: “Serving as the steward of Earthjustice for the last decade has been the greatest honor of my life.”