CREDO members are helping Earthjustice protect the planet

Our long-time grantee Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. They wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to stand up to polluters, advance clean energy, protect public health, and fight for justice for people and the planet.

In March 2022, CREDO members voted to distribute $36,850 help Earthjustice take on the most consequential legal fights of our time, moving urgently to zero emissions and 100% clean energy to address the climate crisis and ensure a healthy environment for all. In total, our members have enabled us to donate $903,909 to empower Earthjustice’s critical work to protect our environment since 1998.

Here’s an update from Earthjustice highlighting some of their recent victories and new projects, thanks to funding from CREDO members:

Recent victories

Earthjustice has made significant forward movement to accelerate the nationwide transition to zero emissionsand 100% clean energy that is climate-safe and disaster-resilient. 

  • Our Right to Zero campaign, which began in California, is now bicoastal. 
  • We helped persuade New Jersey and New York to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks Rule, which we helped get passed first in California. We are now helping Washington D.C. implement the rule and celebrate its recent adoption in Oregon and Washington state. 
  • Thanks to our work, Maryland is committing to zero-emissions wind power; Arizona is making energy rates equitable for solar customers; Colorado is fast-tracking electric vehicles; and California is calling out bad behavior from gas utility companies.

It has been an extraordinary year for Earthjustice in our work enforcing and defending the Clean Water Act and using other laws and advocacy to protect our waters from pollution. After successfully defending the Clean Water Act in the Supreme Court in a case over the Lahaina sewage plant in Maui County, Hawai‘i, we returned to federal district court and won a ruling enforcing our Supreme Court victory.

We celebrate our historic win at the D.C. District Court this summer, which invalidated the Biden administration’s reckless decision to offer oil and gas leases on a staggering 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico — the largest offshore lease sale in U.S. history. The decision marks a pivotal victory in our fight to defend Gulf communities and the planet from the worsening climate crisis. We will continue to pressure President Biden to make good on his campaign promises to stop offshore leasing once and for all. 

Earthjustice has also halted lease sales in Utah’s Uinta Basin and new oil and gas permits in California’s Kern County.

New projects

In April, Earthjustice, CleanAirNow, the Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California challenging the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) decision to replace the vast majority of its delivery fleet with polluting and fuel-guzzling combustion mail trucks. The Postal Service signed a contract and spent millions of dollars on a new combustion fleet before it even began conducting an environmental analysis.The agency received over 35,000 comments from federal and state agencies, scientists, labor organizations,environmentalists, and community groups all concerned about the gaping holes in the analysis and the long-term consequences of this mistake. 

Earthjustice is representing CleanAirNow and the Sierra Club in the lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California, and the Center for Biological Diversity is representing itself. NRDC, representing the United Auto Workers, also filed suit against the Postal Service. And well over a dozen states,including California, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland,Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the City of New York and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District also filed a lawsuit against the Postal Service for its plans to invest in thousands of polluting mail trucks.

In August, Earthjustice filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in federal court for allowing hundreds of toxic coal ash landfills to avoid compliance with important federal health and environmental protections. Earthjustice mined databases buried in EPA archives and found that the agency exempted at least half a billion tons of coal ash in nearly 300 landfills in 38 states from standards designed to protect people from cancer-causing chemicals. The landfills are sited disproportionately in low-income communities and communities of color. It is enough coal ash to fill train cars that could go around the earth two times. Earthjustice filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on behalf of plaintiffs Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment (TN), Indiana State Conference and LaPorte County Branch of the National Association forAdvancement of Colored People, Hoosier Environmental Council (IN), Sierra Club, Clean Power Lake County (IL),and Environmental Integrity Project.

If you’d like to learn more or get involved with Earthjustice, please visit their website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok..