Natural Resources Defense Council
|Area served||United States|
|Method(s)||Litigation, education, advocacy|
|Revenue||$119.1 million USD (2011)|
|Motto||"The Earth's Best Defense"|
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a New York City-based, non-profit international environmental advocacy group, with offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Beijing. Founded in 1970, NRDC today has 1.4 million members and online activists nationwide and a staff of more than 400 lawyers, scientists and other policy experts.
Worth magazine has named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities, Charity Navigator has given NRDC four out of four stars as of 2007, and the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau reports that NRDC meets its highest standards for accountability and use of donor funds. The New York Times calls NRDC "One of the nation's most powerful environmental groups." The National Journal says NRDC is "A credible and forceful advocate for stringent environmental protection."
The NRDC was co-founded in 1970 by John Adams, Richard Ayres, John Bryson, Edward Strohbehn, and Gus Speth, together with a board of scientists and attorneys at the forefront of the environmental movement. The organization has a broad agenda of activities and seeks sustainable policies from federal, state and local government and industrial corporations. It works with federal and state environmental and other agencies, the Congress and state legislatures, and the courts to reduce global warming, limit pollution, protect the stratosphere, promote energy efficiency, conserve natural resources and the natural and built environment, and increase the sustainability of the manufacture of consumer goods. NRDC participates in litigation in federal and state courts to assure the faithful implementation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and many other federal and state laws protecting the environment. The Council also supports an environmental science program that involves dozens of staff and associated scientists; this includes a major program which seeks transformation of manufacturing industries to more sustainable production. In addition, the organization devotes substantial resources to public education .
In 2001, NRDC launched the BioGems Initiative to mobilize concerned individuals in defense of exceptional and imperiled ecosystems. The initiative matches NRDC's legal and institutional expertise with the work of citizen activists.
It has issued a report on the health effects arising from the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In December 2006, Green Day and NRDC jointly launched a website to raise awareness on the U.S.'s petroleum dependence. The NRDC takes the position that new nuclear power plants are not a solution for America's energy needs, or for addressing global warming.
NRDC runs a number of environmental programs:
- The Climate and Clean Air Program focuses on clean air, global warming, transportation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and electric-industry restructuring. This includes the Renewable Energy and Defense Database project with the Pentagon.
- The Health Program works on issues involving drinking water, chemical harm to the environment, and other environmental health threats with the goal of reducing the amount of toxins released into the environment.
- The International Program works worldwide on rainforests, biodiversity, habitat preservation, oceans, marine life, nuclear weapons and global warming, often in conjunction with other programs.
- The Land Program works on issues related to national forests, parks, other public lands, and private forest lands, and works to reduce consumption of wood products.
- The Nuclear Program analyzes developments on a variety of nuclear weapon issues.
- The Urban Program focuses on environmental issues in urban centers and surrounding areas. Issues include air and water quality, garbage and recycling, transportation, sprawl, and environmental justice.
- The Water and Oceans Program works on issues related to the nation's water quality, fish populations, wetlands and oceans. It also operates regional initiatives such as the Everglades, San Francisco Bay, the San Joaquin River, the Channel Islands of California, and the New York/New Jersey Harbor-Bight.
- The Latino Outreach Program or La Onda Verde de NRDC works to inform and involve Spanish-speaking Latinos in the environmental issues on which NRDC works. 
- In July 2008, the NRDC and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. launched a direct mail campaign to encourage citizens to voice opposition to Shell Oil's exploration for oil off the Alaska coast.
OnEarth magazine is a quarterly publication of the NRDC that looks at environmental challenges from a variety of perspectives. The magazine was founded in 1979 as The Amicus Journal. As Amicus, the magazine won the George Polk Award in 1983 for special interest reporting.
Frances Beinecke is the current President. Peter Lehner is the Executive Director. On June 14, 2010, Beinecke was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
NRDC's priorities include:
- Curbing Global Warming and Creating the Clean Energy Future
- Reviving the World's Oceans
- Defending Endangered Wildlife and Wild Places
- Protecting Our Health by Preventing Pollution
- Ensuring Safe and Sufficient Water
- Fostering Sustainable Communities
Effect on administrative law
- Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 435 U.S. 519 (1978), which held that courts could not impose additional procedural requirements on administrative agencies beyond that required by the agency's organic statute or the Administrative Procedure Act.
- Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984), which gave administrative agencies broad discretion to interpret statute to make policy changes if Congressional intent was unclear. Chevron is now the most-cited case in American case law, even more so than all the citations to famous decisions such as Marbury v. Madison, Brown v. Board of Education, and Roe v. Wade combined.
- Baltimore Gas & Elec. Co. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 462 U.S. 78 (1983) is a United States Supreme Court decision which held to be valid a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rule that the permanent storage of nuclear waste should be assumed to have no environmental impact during the licensing of nuclear power plants.
- Baltimore Gas & Elec. Co. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
- Building Codes Assistance Project
- Earth Science
- Global warming
- Green building in the United States
- Natural environment
- United States Green Building Council
- NRDC Finances
- NRDC Staff
- 2011 Annual Report NRDC
- Charity Navigator
- About NRDC: Who We Are. NRDC. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
- "The Environmental Impacts of the World Trade Center Attacks: A Preliminary Assessment." Natural Resources Defense Council.
- NRDC's N.O. Environmental Quality Test Results
- Green Day Authority
- Green Day + NRDC
- NRDC: New Nuclear Power Plants Are Not a Solution for America's Energy Needs
- NRDC.NRDC's Programs
- Miles, Donna. "Database Helps Identify Renewable Energy Sites.", American Forces Press Service, 15 November 2011.
- La Onda Verde de NRDC: Página principal. Nrdc.org. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
- About OnEarth Magazine
- George Polk Award Winners
- President Obama Announces Members of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission | The White House. Whitehouse.gov (2010-06-14). Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
- About the Natural Resources Defense Council. NRDC. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
- Stephen G. Breyer et al., Administrative Law and Regulatory Policy 289 (Aspen 2002)
- Baltimore Gas & Elec. Co. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 441 U.S. 87 (1983).
- Official website
- Official biographies of John H. Adams, NRDC's Founding Director, and Frances Beinecke, NRDC's President.
- Natural Resources Defense Council site on the Environmental Impacts of the World Trade Center Attacks
- Nuclear risks and global warming
- Biogems Initiative
- La Onde Verde
- Simple Steps: Green Living by NRDC
- Green Paws
- Works by or about Natural Resources Defense Council in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Natural Resources Defense Council collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Natural Resources Defense Council collected news and commentary at The Wall Street Journal
- Inventory of the Public Lands Institute Records, 1978 - 1984 in the Forest History Society Library and Archives, Durham, NC