Earthjustice has just won two major victories over fossil fuels that strengthen our resolve to make 2013 the year America turns from these dirtiest of energy sources and moves towards a clean energy future—the only real solution to climate change.
On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency reacted to Earthjustice legal action by adopting drastic limits on the amount of soot poured out from coal-fired power plants and tailpipes. This powerful achievement will save thousands of lives a year and slow climate change by reducing pollution that accelerates sea ice melt.
And, a few weeks ago, we learned that the Danskammer coal-fired power plant, one of New York’s dirtiest polluters, will be retired and torn down. Recent Earthjustice legal action helped bring about this happy outcome, aided by flooding from superstorm Sandy, a storm made fiercer by the climate-changing emissions from coal power plants like this one.
But we aren’t basing our climate change plan on more poetic justice. Our plan for tackling climate change is based on the kind of justice we had great success in achieving this year through the courts and the political system.
In 2012, even as most of our leaders dodged or denied the climate change issue, we were busy tackling it from many angles—reducing carbon emissions by securing national air pollution regulations that clean up or phase out dirty plants and then defending these innovations in court when they are attacked by the polluters. And, as we were shutting down carbon pollution sources like Danskammer, we simultaneously opened new paths for a clean energy future by using the power of the law to advance clean energy programs in California, Hawaiʻi and across the country.
In 2013, we will continue to fight climate change by building upon these victories. Across the country and around the world, we are pushing state and regional clean energy strategies; reducing extra-potent climate causes like black carbon and methane; and pressing for carbon reduction requirements for power plants and other major sources. And, because climate change touches almost every aspect of Earthjustice’s work, we’ll continue to defend and protect our core issues like protecting and preserving wildlife and wild places.
Most critically, we’ll continue to defend the right of all people, including future generations, to a clean and healthy environment: a fundamental human right that climate change threatens. In doing so, we expect to be fighting the same forces—coal, oil and gas industries—that in 2012 made the House of Representatives the most anti-environmental in history.
Fortunately, we have America on our side. The same superstorm that helped bring a power plant to its knees also helped bring the nation to its senses. Two-thirds of the public are now demanding action on climate change—and, with your continuing support, we will make that happen.