“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”
-Native American Proverb
Wisconsinites for Environmental Justice is a group of concerned citizens dedicated to seeking redress for the destructive impacts of human-caused global warming on behalf of Wisconsin communities. We will focus on public education and a relationship with the fossil fuel industry via a state lawsuit, enabling us to work together to solve and heal environmental damage caused by their industry using their funds.
WEJ is an issue-focused coalition of individuals and organizations from across the state petitioning the State of Wisconsin to file a lawsuit against the focus fuel industry. By taking this action, Wisconsin will join 26 other state, county, and city governments in a national effort to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for its deceitful actions.
WEJ to inform the citizens of Wisconsin of the need for these actions by clarifying the link between fossil fuel emission and the climate change we experience in our daily lives.
This action is an attempt to get the attention of the fossil fuel industry through monetary damages, forcing them to be part of the solution rather than the cause of the problem.
We know the challenge is great, but we are committed to achieving environmental justice, the future of the plant is at stake.
JOIN US AND LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD
The goal of the WEJ coalition is to reach out to all organizations and citizens of Wisconsin. Our partners will ultimately consist of the young, the senior citizens, farmers, faith community, teachers, women, Native American tribes, labor, African American and Latino communities, etc. Wisconsin for Environmental Justice will bring together these diverse groups to form a united front and work together to achieve our goal of environmental justice.
"Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty, The objective is an environment of decency, quality, and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures."
What is Wisconsin for Environmental Justice?
We are a group of concerned citizens dedicated to seeking accountability for climate change in WI.
This year we will be working with other partners and organizations in WI to build grassroots support for holding the fossil fuel industry liable for deception regarding the climate crisis in WI.
In the near future, we will approach the Wisconsin Attorney General to urge him to take legal action to hold the fossil fuel industry responsible for climate change in WI.
Wisconsin is facing an accelerating climate crisis-with inequitable impacts
Wisconsin is experiencing climate change, including warming temperatures, more hot and humid days, increasing precipitation, and more frequent extreme precipitation events.
Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change.
In Wisconsin, working-class communities are subject to pipelines, and low-income communities are exposed to fracking, mining, and hazardous waste industries. In addition, residents of these communities are more likely to experience more exposure to polluted air.
A crisis fueled by Big Polluters
This climate crisis was fueled by the increased burning of fossil fuels. It wasn’t inevitable.
Big polluting fossil fuel corporations like Chevron, Shell, Exxon, and others have spent billions fueling and denying climate change.
They have delayed or blocked progress on climate change for decades and endorsed false “solutions” like self-regulation in addition to funding climate denial.
Meanwhile, they continue to earn billions from the increased use of fossil fuels globally.
The crisis is costly and growing costlier
Wisconsin alone spends $44 billion annually to import fossil fuel energy.
The impacts of the extreme weather events, flooding, tornados, and drought, over the past 20 years have had approximate costs of $100 billion to the citizens of WI.
The unpredictable swings in weather, both temperature, and precipitation are adversely affecting the agricultural and livestock sectors which depend on predictable weather patterns.
Polluters, not people, must pay for damage and to implement just solutions
Wisconsin communities and taxpayers should not have to be burdened with the costs needed to implement solutions to a problem they did not cause.
It’s time to make the polluting industries that have knowingly fueled climate destruction pay for the damage they cause.
Just and equitable solutions to address the climate crisis already exist. These solutions are grounded in science as well as the experience, leadership, and expertise of frontline communities that have been hardest hit by the crisis.
Big polluters should be held criminally and financially responsible for their role in climate change, and be made to end the practices that have driven this crisis in the first place.
Liability: A solution for equity, justice, and funding
Liability actions against polluters could generate billions of dollars to fund the swift and necessary changes and investments we need toward a just and equitable energy transition.
Liability actions can advance justice if it’s ensured that the financing goes to the communities and cities in Wisconsin that have been most impacted by the climate crisis and environmental racism.
Now is the time to transform our systems and chart the path for a new, equitable, and just world.
And a critical first step is to make polluting industries pay—to help bring justice for the damage they have wrought and to fund the solutions our communities need.
Wisconsinites can lead the way
Elected officials in Wisconsin have a critical role to as leaders in securing funding for real climate solutions, holding polluters liable, and advancing climate justice.
That’s why it is crucial to demand that the Wisconsin attorney general takes action to hold polluters liable.
Professor Ed Maibach of George Mason University climate change summary: "It’s REAL, It’s US, Expert Agree, It’s BAD, and It’s Solvable."
Wisconsin News Articles
National News Articles
Cracking down on digital ads promoting false climate change claims or being used to make money from such content, hoping to limit revenue for climate change deniers and stop the spread of misinformation on its platforms.
National Geographic article that’s a closer look at the current solutions to climate change in the U.S and identifies areas where we need to show improvement.
Thousands of mostly young protesters gathered at a Fridays For Future rally in Glasgow, Scotland, the host city for the COP26 U.N. climate talks.
Global News Articles
Advertisers, publishers, and YouTube creators can no longer monetize content that denies the existence of climate change.
Plans by governments to extract fossil fuels up to 2030 are incompatible with keeping global temperatures to safe levels, says the UN
(Inside Climate News)
Chiefs of ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and other oil giants say they never misled anyone about the reality of climate change.
GET INVOLVED &
STAY IN CONTACT
The goal of WEJ is to inform and organize Wisconsinites to put pressure on the fossil fuel industry. Can you help us do that by signing up and urging other Wisconsinites and organizations to join our effort?
"We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment." Margaret Mead
Sign the Petition
Josh Kaul, Attorney General
Wisconsin Department of Justice
PO Box 7857
Madison, WI 53707-7857
Dear Attorney General Kaul:
We write today to urge you to act swiftly and boldly on behalf of civil rights, the public interest, and environmental justice. We ask you to devote the necessary resources to file a consumer protection lawsuit against ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, the American Petroleum Institute, and other polluters. Liability actions against polluters could generate billions of dollars to fund the swift and necessary changes and investments we need toward a just and equitable energy transition. This would be a big step forward in continuing the fight to curb climate pollution, advance true equality, and address environmental injustices in Wisconsin.
We know you care deeply about the climate crisis. When you ran for the office of Attorney General in 2018, you declared in the Wisconsin State Journal questionnaire about environmental issues: “Weak environmental enforcement undermines the deterrent effect of our environmental laws. I believe that polluters that break the law should expect to be held accountable.”And on the Wisconsin Department of Justice website, your profile makes it clear you are committed to “fighting for clean and safe drinking water and against climate change and to protecting the rights of Wisconsinites.”
In the last few years, as the COVID-19 pandemic, racial, economic, and climate crises have unfolded, we have seen the ways that profit-driven interests have undermined a democratic society that prioritizes the health of all people and the planet. For far too long, polluting industries have been able to get away with destroying our planet and harming countless people’s lives and livelihoods—all in the name of profit.
In 2021, the stakes for Wisconsinites are exceedingly high as we struggle to stop climate change fueled largely by deceptive corporate polluters. The Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change recognized that pollution has disproportionately harmed communities of color, Indigenous communities, and low-income communities over generations. Families across the state already pay higher utility bills and more significant insurance premiums because of climate damage. Now we expect taxes will also increase to pay for climate-change-driven repairs or improvements to our Lake Michigan shoreline and our roads, schools, and bridges due to the climate crisis. Meanwhile, new infrastructure to deliver fossil fuels via the Line 3 and Line 5 pipelines through Wisconsin are constructed, threatening important bodies of water, including the Great Lakes.  And when these fossil fuel projects are routed through or near Indigenous land, Native communities report increased rates of trafficking and murder, one of the many ways frontline communities are disproportionately harmed by extractive and polluting industries.
The climate crisis wasn’t inevitable. It was largely fueled by Chevron, Exxon, Shell, and other polluting corporations who misled the American public about the devastating effects of their products on the climate. They have spent billions of dollars simultaneously fueling and denying it, delaying action, and pushing false “solutions” like dangerous, unproven geoengineering technologies. Taxpayers should not have to pay the costs of mitigating climate damage they did not cause. That’s wrong, and it’s time to make it right.
Real and just solutions to the climate crisis are within reach, and people on the frontlines of the climate crisis have been demanding them for decades. Holding polluters liable can help unlock funding for these solutions—funding that cities and our state sorely need to recover from loss and damage caused by this crisis. Securing a damages award for the state could ensure that financing will go to and be allocated in meaningful partnership with the people and cities who have been most impacted by the climate crisis. Taking action to hold polluters liable is an important step in advancing climate justice.
We’re proud of your commitment to hold polluters accountable. We expect that you and your office will take action on behalf of Wisconsinites. We are suing polluters for the costly climate damages faced by the state and our residents.