Readying a Stronger Approach for the New Year


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are readying our new petition to compel the United States to undertake an orderly phaseout of fossil fuels within reach of existing US law.

This is a crucial moment. After all, it is the enforcement of bedrock environmental law here that really counts, as I was able to explain just the other day to Mongabay.

But if recent history is any guide, we need to prepare ourselves to overcome furious opposition from the fossil fuel industry.

And that is why we are turning to you, and your network of friends, colleagues, and family, as we seek continuing and new support for this critical effort.

As was true with our Petition and ensuing lawsuit from 2022-23, our forthcoming Citizens’ Petition will call for a planned, orderly phase out of both the domestic use of oil, gas and coal, as well as their production, under existing, bedrock environmental law.

But what is new now, as compared with our 2022-23 effort?

Our new Petition will certainly allege that fossil fuels and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from their intended use, present an unreasonable risk of injury to our health and the environment. But we now understand that our planet’s energy imbalance has in fact nearly doubled in recent years. Moreover, it is clear now that our climate system is approaching key tipping points from which there is at best only a remote possibility of safe return.

And that level of risk triggers action pursuant to TSCA §7, as well as under §6.

This means that the risk presented by the continued production, processing, distribution, use, export, and disposal of fossil fuels – and the emissions resulting from their intended use – is not only an unreasonable risk (triggering action under §6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act), it is also one that is imminent, widespread, and severe. And that level of risk triggers action pursuant to TSCA §7, as well as under §6, requiring a rulemaking aimed at restriction to the point of prohibition on the production, among other lifecycle stages, of oil, gas, and coal. Moreover, recognition of that enhanced risk empowers the Agency to take action directly in federal court to begin to eliminate this imminent, widespread, and severe risk.

To see this through, we will need to win not only at every level of the federal court system, but also in the court of public opinion. That is why we have also undertaken a series of public hearings to answer the question that EPA’s actions last year presented, namely: What More Should the United States Do on Climate? 

Our first such hearing was conducted in conjunction with the City of Boulder, Colorado, on November 1, 2022 – and its archive can be found here.  We conducted our second such hearing on September 29, 2023, in Honolulu, Hawaii, in conjunction with the University of Hawaii School of Law Environmental Law Program and the Sierra Club. Its archive can be found here.

And late next month, on January 25, 2024 (from 6-830pm), we are slated to co-sponsor our 3rd public hearing on climate action with another key climate ally, the Community Environmental Council of Santa Barbara, California.

Thank you, in advance, for your support and for considering a fully tax-deductible end-of-year contribution. Your generosity resonates in our work, every step of the way.

With gratitude and deep appreciation,


Dan Galpern, General Counsel and Executive Director
Climate Protection and Restoration Initiative