Robert Ukeiley, Attorney
Robert began his career working with environmental organizations before deciding to head off to law school. After he was armed with his degree, he started out briefly working on international environmental issues like whaling and dolphin protection treaties. He then started working on environmental issues in the U.S. as well as representing individuals who could not afford an attorney before transitioning into the realm of environmental practice. He has now been consistently working in coordination with the Sierra Club for the past seven years.
Robert's main legal focus has been work on air pollution, power plants, and "New Source Review" enforcement. This focus developed out of an interest in energy issues and, more specifically, making sure that the dirty fossil fuel industry adequately reflects the real cost of energy—including the costs of pollution and clean-up.
Recently, Robert scored a major victory for the Club in a lawsuit against the Bush administration's giveaways to corporate polluters. In the case, Sierra Club argued that the administration had wrongfully approved a permit for a power plant because the company, Oglethorpe, owned another facility that was currently in violation of the Clean Air Act. The Court stopped the administration's attempts to bypass the law by ruling that the decision to issue the permit was arbitrary and capricious.
A few years ago, Robert became involved with the short grass prairie out West when he defended several activists who were arrested while protesting a prairie dog killing contest. His visits to the prairie led to a greater appreciation of the southern plains. He is now involved with the Southern Plains Land Trust and visits the prairie every summer.
To top everything off, Robert is now gearing up for a trip to the southern plains in Mexico in the coming weeks to help with a release of black-footed ferrets into the wild. Because the ferrets depend on prairie dogs for their survival, the release site is located near the largest remaining prairie dog colony in the world. No worries though—Robert's proven commitment to working with the Club ensure that he will return and continue to fight for a better environment.