Erik Grafe

Deputy Managing Attorney


Media Inquiries

Elizabeth Manning
Public Affairs and Communications Strategist

Bar Admissions


Erik Grafe is the Deputy Managing Attorney of Earthjustice’s Alaska office. Erik joined Earthjustice as a staff attorney in September 2007.

Prior to joining Earthjustice, Erik worked as an associate in the New York and Moscow offices of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, a large international law firm, and as a staff attorney for MFY Legal Services, a non-profit provider of legal services to low-income New Yorkers. In summer 2006, he served as a law clerk for the Hon. Timothy M. Burgess of the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska.

Erik received a B.A. in English and Environmental Studies from Yale College in 1996, a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2000, and an LL.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2007. He is admitted to practice in Alaska and New York.

The Latest by Erik Grafe

Offshore drilling in the Arctic would disturb an ecosystem unlike any other on Earth, affecting already-threatened wildlife such as polar bears, whales, and walruses. It would also thwart progress on addressing climate change.
May 3, 2017

Trump Threatens to Bring Arctic Offshore Drilling Back from the Dead – and it’s Still a Terrible Idea

Here are four reasons why throwing open the door to Arctic Ocean drilling would cause irreparable damage to people and the planet.
July 20, 2016

Victoria Legal Para El Ártico Luego de Ardua Lucha Envía a Las Empresas Petroleras de Vuelta a Casa

Tras ocho años de exitosos desafíos legales, ya desapareció la amenaza que representaba este contrato de venta.
Kathryn Hansen/NASA
July 20, 2016

Long-fought Legal Victory for the Arctic as Oil Companies Limp Home

The Chukchi Sea is free of oil drilling for the foreseeable future.
Brian McDonald/Shutterstock
May 20, 2016

The Tide is Turning Against Offshore Drilling

A week that saw oil companies retreat from the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea, an agreement among Arctic-bordering countries, and a large spill could be the beginning of the end for offshore drilling.
An icebreaker ship in an icy Arctic bay.
November 25, 2015

Why We Should Keep It in the (Frozen, Arctic) Ground

In rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama emphasized the need to “keep it in the ground” when it comes to fossil fuels. He should follow his own advice when it comes to Arctic drilling.
Kayaktivists rally against Shell Oil and Arctic drilling in the Port of Seattle.
May 20, 2015

Gearing Up for the Latest Arctic Fight

On Monday, the Department of the Interior conditionally approved Shell Oil’s multi-year plan to drill for oil in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea.
Exxon valdez oil spill cleanup
March 24, 2015

Ignoring the History of Exxon Valdez

On the 26th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, we look to the future of oil drilling leases in the Arctic Ocean.
The Kulluk, one of Shell's oil drilling rigs  for the Arctic.
December 17, 2014

Shell Doubles Down After Criminal Action

As Shell's operator pleads guilty for a 2012 drilling mess, the oil company is already gearing up to drill again with the same operator and an even bigger and dirtier drilling plan.
Chukchi Sea. (NASA / Kathryn Hansen)
June 13, 2014

Call for Comments on Future Arctic Drilling

Interior developing plan for offshore oil drilling during 2017-2022
The Shell drilling rig, Kulluk, drifted aground in Alaska in December 2012 and was later scrapped, underscoring the great risks in Arctic drilling.
January 22, 2014

Getting It Right for the Arctic Ocean

Thanks to long-running Earthjustice litigation on behalf of Alaska Native and conservation groups, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ordered the Department of the Interior to reconsider its decision to issue millions of acres of oil leases to companies like Shell and ConocoPhillips in the Chukchi Sea. In response, the government has suspended drilling there pending the review.