To fight the climate emergency and extinction crisis, we must revolutionize our world to be entirely powered by clean, renewable, wildlife-friendly and democratic energy. The Center wages innovative legal and grassroots campaigns to drive this urgent transition for energy justice.
ABOUT THE ENERGY JUSTICE PROGRAM
Climate change is the single greatest threat we've ever faced — not only to human society but to the Earth's web of life.
Our energy system is broken. While the climate and extinction crises drive our planet toward a point of no return, electric utilities and governments continue to burn dirty fossil fuels and obstruct the urgently needed transition to clean and renewable energy. It’s not enough that our energy future be technologically clean and renewable, either: It must also be just. It needs to protect wildlife and empower human communities, both of which have borne the brunt of dirty pollution and a centralized monopoly on power.
Through our campaigns to drive this vital transition for energy justice, the Center is challenging the status quo: fighting utility corruption and punching back against blatant industry attacks on solar and other clean energies. We advocate for a just energy future by working for the deployment of democratic community power and distributed and wildlife-friendly clean energy. We are seizing this once-in-a-generation opportunity to design a new system of power that is accountable to the people and healthy for the planet.
Specifically, the Energy Justice Program:
• Pursues lawsuits, submits administrative petitions, and intervenes in regulatory proceedings to combat utility corruption and the obstruction of clean energy and other distributed resources.
• Organizes and mobilizes communities to advance distributed and community solar programs and hold utility regulators accountable.
• Advocates for, and crafts, strong energy justice policies and regulations on the state, federal and international levels.
HOW WE DO IT
• Strategic, creative litigation
• Mobilization of people power and movement building
• Visionary, effective policy advocacy
The Center's Energy Justice program has:
• Sued the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest single power provider, over its efforts to stifle distributed solar energy development in its vast territory.
• Petitioned the North Carolina Utilities Commission and other bodies to prohibit utilities from forcing ratepayers to subsidize fossil fuel lobbying and other anti-environmental advocacy, in contravention of their First Amendment rights.
• Legally intervened to oppose the request of Duke Energy, the nation’s largest greenhouse gas-polluting utility, for a rate hike in North Carolina that fails to address the climate emergency.
• Participated in an ongoing legal battle over an Arizona monopoly utility’s efforts to stifle solar competition in violation of antitrust law.
• Co-launched the Energy Justice North Carolina coalition, which is committed to ending the monopoly of Duke Energy and hastening a just and clean energy transition through community mobilization.
• Launched an innovative Wild Energy research partnership with UC Davis to advance a sustainable energy future for wildlife and wild places. Published essential policy materials to hasten the just energy transition, including a community solar toolkit.
• Opposed the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported solar cells.
• Spearheaded an effort by 830 energy and racial-justice organizations to demand a federal moratorium on utility shutoffs in the pandemic.
• In solidarity with unions representing 50 million workers, sued the Trump administration to invoke the Defense Production Act to make lifesaving PPE for essential and frontline workers.