Last week North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light spoke at the EPA public hearing in Charleston, West Virginia, on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan. The EPA has proposed that the Clean Power Plan is not consistent with the Clean Air Act.
The EPA held the public hearing on this critical issue in the heart of coal country. Faith leaders, including those from West Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, spoke in support of the Clean Power Plan because it sets flexible and achievable limits on otherwise unlimited dumping of carbon pollution from power plants into our air and it encourages the development of clean, renewable energy.
Susannah Tuttle, Director of NCIPL, was at the hearing last week. She testified, in part:
It should be expected that our elected officials and the EPA act on our moral obligation to address unlimited carbon pollution coming from the nation’s power plants, the single largest source of global warming pollution in the country. The standards laid out by the Clean Power Plan will help usher in clean energy solutions like improved efficiency and solar power: things that North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light congregations have been using in their facilities for years to reduce emissions and save money. Emerging wind and solar companies have been in a David and Goliath struggle against the well-funded coal and gas industries. The Clean Power Plan helps create a dynamic move toward cleaner energy.
Michelle Peedin, Program Associate for NCIPL, was also at the hearing. She testified:
This friday I will be 24 years old. So when we take a look at these projections for 30 or 50 years out, God willing, I will be here. I will be alive after many of the current members of legislature will have passed. I will be alive after many of the current policies will have been put in place for decades. My generation and our families will be living and breathing the repercussions of today’s decisions. That is why I made the decision a year ago to work towards addressing the ecological and justice issues of climate change as a faith-based initiative through NCIPL. Because, like a quote I embodied many years ago, “if not now, when? If not me, who?”
Others spoke up as well. 72-year-old Stanley Sturgill, who mined coal for decades in Kentucky and now has black lung disease said:
“Our health, environment and global climate are actively being destroyed. And it is clear to me that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and President Trump are accelerating and cheering on the damage. I have come here today to ask you to stop. For the sake of my grandchildren and yours, I call on you to strengthen, not repeal, the Clean Power Plan. We are still literally dying for you to help us.”
There is a comment period now and people of faith need to speak up and be counted:
The EPA announced yesterday that they will hold three additional public hearings on a proposal to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, in San Francisco; Gillette, Wyoming; and Kansas City, Missouri.
People of faith have a moral obligation to care for and protect our children and future generations by addressing the effects of climate change and carbon pollution, especially as they wreak havoc on the poorest and most vulnerable among us. Let’s make the right and moral choice to implement sensible climate solutions that speed the transition to a just and equitable clean energy economy.