Fifty-six leading denominations and faith-based organizations released a joint letter Wednesday calling on the U.S. Senate to uphold the EPA’s power to protect the environment and public’s health through the Clean Air Act.
In particular, the religious leaders, including Protestants, Jews, Unitarians and other faiths, noted that the effort by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) to delay EPA controls on greenhouse gas emissions should be turned down.
In December 2009, the EPA finalized its study on the effects of greenhouse gases, and announced that these emissions are indeed a threat to public health and welfare.
Rockefeller’s bill (S.3072) was introduced in March 2010, and would put the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases and other air pollution on hold for two more years.
The joint letter opens as follows: “As communities and people of faith, we are called to protect and serve God’s great Creation and work for justice for all of God’s people.
“We believe that the United States must take all appropriate and available actions to prevent the worst impacts of climate change; we therefore urge you to oppose any efforts to undermine the authority of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
“We have seen various challenges to the CAA this session including Senator Rockefeller’s proposal to delay regulation of greenhouse gases under the Environmental Protection Agency. We urge you to protect the Clean Air Act and allow the EPA to use the full strength of the law to ensure that God’s Creation and God’s children remain healthy.”
(The full text of the joint letter and list of signers is available at nccecojustice.org).
According to the U.S. Climate Network, the Rockefeller bill is designed to give polluters free rein to dump carbon pollution into the atmosphere, and would release polluters from their responsibility to keep communities and people safe from harmful emissions.
“As leaders in our communities of faith, we take very seriously our charge to act as stewards of God’s Creation,” said Rev. Harriet Olson, deputy general secretary of United Methodist Women. “Preserving a strong Clean Air Act and limiting the harm done by climate change are very important and concrete things we can do today working together as people of faith acting in that stewardship capacity.”
TAKE ACTION: Don’t Let Congress Gut The Clean Air Act!
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