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Posted on on January 30th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (


Earthjustice: the earth needs a good lawyer

Dear Pincas,

President Obama addresses Congress during his 2013 State of the Union speech. (Official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy)

For those of us who care passionately about the environment, President Obama’s State of the Union address last night contained a few hopeful points—but there was even greater cause for concern.

On the positive side, the President spoke of reducing subsidies for the oil and gas industries. He committed to setting new fuel efficiency standards for trucks and limits on carbon pollution from power plants. He called for increased investment in solar, and said loud and clear that climate change is a fact we must deal with. We applaud these commitments.

But the President also claimed that his “all of the above” energy strategy—one that embraces risky offshore oil drilling, hazardous “fracking” for gas, and continued reliance on fossil fuels—is working. And he vowed to promote massive new investment in fossil fuel development and use.

To that we must say: Mr. President, an “all of the above” energy strategy comes at too great a price to our health and the state of our environment. We can do better—for ourselves, and for future generations.

In the coming months, Earthjustice’s legal and legislative experts will be doing everything in their power to defend the President’s pro-environment initiatives from attacks by the oil, gas, and energy industries. Fuel efficiency standards must be improved, climate pollution from power plants must be reined in, and solar power must be allowed to succeed.

At the same time, we will be fighting to ensure that the President’s “all of the above” energy strategy doesn’t translate into “more of the same.” We simply cannot afford a future dominated by continued carbon combustion, the risk of devastating offshore oil spills, and the runaway boom in fracking for gas that scars our lands and threatens our health.

It is time to implement a different strategy focused on developing the “best of the above:” solar, wind, renewables.

Together, we can and will do better. But to advance clean energy in the face of powerful resistance from an entrenched fossil fuel industry, we will need you by our side in the days and months ahead.

I hope you will continue to stand with us as we fight to protect our natural world and forge a saner and more sustainable energy future.

Thanks for all that you do.


Trip Photo

Trip Van Noppen
President, Earthjustice

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