October 6, 2022

The Struggle for a Fossil-Free Future

When it comes to tackling climate change, it’s literally now or never: less than ten years to avoid its worst effects. The culprit behind this crisis is also inextricably linked to all the other major environmental hazards, from plastic waste to environmental racism – that’s the fossil fuel industry. We need to cut off the source of these damages and at the same time return to a 100% pollution-free clean energy future.

Earth justice is transforming the way we generate and use energy to ensure a healthy environment for communities, while harnessing the power of law to prevent new and expanded fossil fuel development and infrastructure. When we win battles on the court together, we have the potential to create lasting systemic change.

Despite the harmful Supreme Court decision West Virginia v. Environmental Protection AgencyLimiting the EPA’s ability to combat climate pollution, EPA still has the power to protect public health and the environment, and we will continue to pressurize it to do so. We’re also pushing and winning for state-level climate investments from New Mexico to Michigan. Earthjustice supports the final passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, a $370 billion package that represents a massive step in total for climate solutions, as we prepare to fight to stop the gifts of fossils along with communities on the Gulf Coast, Appalachia and Alaska. fuel industry included in the bill.

Informed citizens also play a critical role in the struggle. Individual action alone cannot solve the climate crisis. The scale of the climate crisis means: requires collective actionIt’s something groups like Earthjustice have worked hard to coordinate.

Read on to find out how you can get involved.

Environmental justice advocate Dulce Altamirano outside the Marathon Refinery in Wilmington, Los Angeles, on September 1, 2020.

Environmental justice advocate Dulce Altamirano outside the Marathon Refinery in Wilmington, Los Angeles, on September 1, 2020.

Tara Pixley for World Justice

Using the law to protect people:

Air pollution from the extraction, processing, transportation and burning of fossil fuels directly harms millions of people and accelerates climate change. Black, Brown and Indigenous communities, who have been at the forefront of pollution due to generations of environmental racism and colonial practices, suffer disproportionately, experiencing increased rates of cancer, asthma and upper respiratory diseases.

In California, Earthjustice is leading the transition to zero emissions. While six of the 10 most polluted cities in the US are within its borders, the state suffers from the worst air quality in the country due to high-traffic truck corridors in the Central Valley, residential drilling and shipping terminals emitting toxic coal dust. . Earthjustice uses litigation and advocacy to end these harms and pave the way for a safer, healthier future. Achieving zero emissions will finally provide our communities with clean air to breathe and provide the rest of the country with a blueprint for how to transition to clean energy.

Tell the EPA to clean our air

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Natural gas flare from an offshore oil rig in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

Natural gas flare from an offshore oil rig in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

Paul Souders / Getty Images

Using the law to protect our planet:

About 25% of climate heating emissions in the United States come from fossil fuels that are pumped or extracted from public lands and waters. Despite this, fossil fuel companies are doing nothing to help lower gas prices as they demand that the government double down on new oil and gas leases that will only lock us into decades of fossil fuel dependence and exacerbate the climate crisis.

The law requires the government to weigh the environmental hazards of drilling and mining when deciding whether to sell the land and water we all own to fossil fuel companies. When the actual loss of these projects is not calculated, we take it to court.

The Biden administration can deliver on its promises to protect our planet from the worst effects of the climate crisis by quickly ending new leases on public land and water.

Protect our public waters from offshore drilling

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We're fighting for a less smoky future than that.

We’re fighting for a less smoky future than that.

Using the law to protect our future:

To create a livable future, we need to act now against the climate crisis. There is no “one size fits all” solution, but individuals can come together to advocate for local, state and federal clean energy solutions and climate policies that are relevant to the moment.

Earthjustice has partnered with community members in Puerto Rico to fight for solar power; Activists fighting against Amazon’s polluting warehouse complex in the Inner Empire and utilities in California have put pressure on utilities to make clean, safe energy accessible to all.

Support green energy for Puerto Rico

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