On Tuesday, more than 200 leaders from the public health, academic, business, and environmental communities traveled to Salem, Oregon, to rally and hold lobby meetings with legislators on this session's top environmental bills as part of the Oregon Conservation Network's Clean Green Lobby Machine lobby day.
Today the Supreme Court will hear polluter arguments against the EPA's vital Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, a long-overdue protection that will help guard our families, air, water, and wildlife from dangerous toxic pollution that comes from coal plants. These vital protections are critically important to public health, and the polluters challenging them are putting lives at risk.
For decades, the residents of River Rouge and surrounding communities have been living with severe air pollution from nearby coal plants, and together, they came out in force to pack a public hearing and call on the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to put a plan in place that will finally clean up this pollution and correct a longstanding environmental injustice.
This week the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California approved an important legal framework that serves as a big step toward providing relief for thousands of communities across the country now suffering from dangerous sulfur dioxide air pollution. The road map imposes deadlines for the EPA to identify areas that exceed the sulfur dioxide health standard.
The U.S. needs 10 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025 to have a shot at avoiding the worst effects of climate change. But even AlterAction's sunniest market projection indicates that we'll have only 4 to 5 million EVs on the road by 2025 if we charge ahead at the current modest pace of growth.
"None of us should have to be here right now fighting for our right to breathe." That's what a young woman told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at a hearing this week about smog pollution, after boarding a bus with 100 high school students before dawn and traveling for hours to deliver her three minutes of testimony.
Wherever a community demands protection for their drinking water, we'll be there. Wherever a mother testifies that her kids can't breathe because of the coal plant in their neighborhood, we'll be there. We'll be there when the storms flood our cities, and we'll be there when the pipelines break and the oil trains spill.
Even though Obama wants climate action to be one of his presidency's chief legacies, he's not yet ready to base his policies on what actually needs to be done. In this case, he has taken two big steps forward with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and then followed up with an ill-advised step backward on offshore drilling.