This has been an incredible time for environmental progress, and I just want to take a moment to reflect on all that we have accomplished and thank you for all you have helped make possible.
It started two weeks ago when the Senate rejected the toxic air assault pushed by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the Senate's leading climate denier, which would have permanently blocked the life-saving Mercury and Air Toxics clean air protections. This victory means healthier air, healthier communities, and healthier kids.
Then on Monday, we closed the public comment period on the EPA's proposed climate pollution limits for American power plants with a record-shattering 2.25 million comments from across a broad coalition of environmental and public advocacy groups. The Dirty Energy Lobby will fight this rule with everything they have, but our unprecedented grassroots strength gives us huge momentum in this ongoing struggle to solve the climate crisis.
The good news continued on Tuesday when a federal appeals court upheld EPA's climate pollution emission standards, rejecting four legal challenges that had been filed by industry groups and several states' attorneys general. The unanimous and unambiguous ruling affirmed the importance of having rigorous, independent science as the bedrock of efforts to protect our health and environment.
And then late Friday, just before breaking for the July 4th Recess, Congress once and for all passed the RESTORE Act as part of the Surface Transportation Extension Act. The RESTORE Act dedicates 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines from BP and other parties responsible for the 2010 gulf oil spill where they are needed most to restoring the fragile Gulf Coast environment and local economy.
Our dedicated team of scientists, economists, policy experts, lawyers, and other specialists poured their souls into these fights. We worked closely with broad coalitions of groups, and we all played important roles.
But, without you and the more than 700,000 EDF members and activists, we probably would not be celebrating these victories today. You are the powerful force that makes all our work possible, and I can't thank you enough.
I hope that as we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, we can all feel a little extra pride in being part of the environmental movement that is winning so many important victories for our planet and our future. And I wish you a safe and festive holiday.
Director of Membership