The Sierra Club has been the nation's leader in environmental litigation since the beginning. In 1971, the pioneering Sierra Club v. Morton lawsuit - a case challenging a proposed Walt Disney Resort in the Mineral King Valley - gave citizens the right to sue to enforce environmental laws. Since then, the Sierra Club has used the courts to fight for environmental protection at the national, regional, and local levels, giving citizens the means and legal expertise to enforce our hard-won environmental laws and protect our water, air, and wilderness. The law books are literally filled with watershed decisions won by the Club over the years.
Fast forward to 2013. Sierra Club's Environmental Law Program (ELP) is perfecting the art of campaign litigation and "lawyer-organizing." Our team of top-notch attorneys and legal staff leverages all of the Club's tools of democracy, integrating legal advocacy with grassroots organizing, sophisticated communications, a state-of-the-art digital strategies team, and administrative lobbying. With the strength of our nation's first, largest, and most powerful environmental organization, the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts.
We lead the charge against climate change and polluters, and our unparalleled success is a testament to our ability to carry out a bold, ambitious mission. In the past year alone, we launched more than 150 legal actions to challenge the fossil fuel industry's destructive effects on our air, water, and climate. We also filed over 100 actions to advance renewable energy and energy efficiency. With our allies nationwide, we have stopped more than 175 new coal plants from being built, and we've secured the announced retirements of 150 existing, heavily polluting plants. To further leverage our power, since 2010 we have trained more than 250 attorneys from our allied organizations, and cultivated a network of expert engineers, and scientists to confront the fossil fuel industry on a broad scale and win. Altogether, our most recent legal victories will help keep more than 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere every year - equivalent to taking more than 22 million passenger vehicles off the road.