Helping Communities Fight Power Plant Air Pollution

Earthjustice is working to ensure that California citizens have a voice in the permitting and siting of new natural gas-fired power plants.

Case Overview

In California, citizens lack access to the courts to obtain judicial review of decisions to permit new natural gas-fired power plants. Under current law, only the California Supreme Court has discretion to hear such challenges, and, despite requests for review filed before it, it has never exercised its discretion to hear such a case.

In May 2013, Earthjustice filed this action contending that the judicial review law violates the California Constitution, which vests judicial review of agency decisions in the California superior courts as well as the appellate courts.

If successful, this case will open up court access and enable citizens to obtain judicial review of power plant permitting. This in turn will increase scrutiny of and potentially limit new natural gas power plants in California.

A power plant in California.
A power plant in California. (Photo courtesy of Jon Sullivan)

Case Updates

An aerial view of Cabo Pulmo.
September 22, 2014 Press Release

Tri-National Organization To Investigate Mexico for Environmental Enforcement in Gulf of California Development

The Secretariat of the Commission for the Environmental Cooperation (CEC) recommended a thorough investigation in Mexico’s systematic failure to enforce its environmental law when authorizing the construction of three tourist resorts in an important area with vulnerable ecosystems, endangered species and local communities.

A coal-fired power plant.
March 14, 2014 Article

Fighting for Peoples' Right to Have Their Day in Court

Earthjustice has filed an appeal challenging a California law that severely restricts the public’s ability to dispute the California Energy Commission’s green-lighting of new power plants

May 29, 2013 Press Release

Lawsuit Filed to Help Communities Fight Power Plant Air Pollution

Concerned public denied constitutional rights to challenge California Energy Commission permits