We are at a time when we must lean toward caring.

Rev. Barry Lewis, retired from pastoring at Sewickley United Methodist Church joined faith leaders for fellowship, prayer, and song just prior to the EPA hearings in Pittsburgh submitted the following comments to the EPA.  They are published here alongside PA IPL’s remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.  FaithLeadersEPA

I am a Pittsburgh native aware of the history of industrial pollution through my lifetime from the 1940’s, and remember the courageous actions taken to reduce emissions that made it unnecessary to light street lights at noon.

But we haven’t reached the goal of clean air and water.

As a United Methodist, I am committed to our social principles which state: Continue reading

Protect Creation, respect of all life.

Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark  submitted the following comments to the EPA. They are published here alongside PA IPL’s remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.  

thumb_maryelizabethclark_1024My name is Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark, a Sister of St. Joseph of Philadelphia. I am here today representing the Sisters of St. Joseph and Chestnut Hill College of Philadelphia. I am also an Ambassador of the U.S. Catholic Bishops Climate Change Coalition. Speaking from a faith perspective and the moral imperative of doing no harm to God’s creation, I implore you to write Emission Guidelines for reducing carbon pollution from existing fossil fuel power plants that truly make a difference for global climate.

As Pope Francis has said in his call to us all, “Whenever human beings fail to live up to environmental responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened.   Let us be protectors of creation.”

The tradition of Catholic social teaching offers a developing and distinctive perspective on environmental issues. We believe that the following themes drawn from the tradition are integral dimensions of ecological responsibility: Continue reading

Better than incremental: repatriate $ to invest in us all

Remarks by PA IPL supporters are published on this blog alongside PA IPL’s official remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.  Jon Eich is a former County Commissioner and committed public servant.  When asked about his faith, he responds “right now I consider my faith limited to Matthew 25:40.” JonEich

I have travelled here to today to speak in support of Clean Power Plan.  As a community planner, I have devoted many years to helping communities improve their quality of life.  Quality of life is multi-faceted, and includes promoting economic development, protecting environmental resources, developing infrastructure, providing for public services, and assuring public safety.

One of the charges given in Pennsylvania’s enabling legislation for planning is to minimize such problems as may presently exist or which may be foreseen (Source: Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Section 105).  Scientific research has made a compelling case that human activity that adds carbon to the atmosphere is contributing to climate change.  But beyond science, common sense tells us that if humans release the carbon which has been stored in fossil fuels for hundreds of millions of years in the very short timeframe of a couple hundred years, there is going to be an impact.

The impact of carbon on the atmosphere, on ecosystems, and hence, on people, is a problem that currently exists.  Greater impacts can be foreseen unless action is taken.  Therefore, planners and community leaders have an obligation to take action. Continue reading

All things, all people belong to God

Remarks by PA IPL supporters are published on this blog alongside PA IPL’s official remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.

JoyBergeyMy name is Joy Bergey, and I speak in my role as Executive Director of the Center for the Celebration of Creation. The Center is an inter-religious program in Philadelphia, PA. The Center works with congregations and individuals to address problems of environmental injustice.

The Center for the Celebration of Creation applauds the EPA for proposing this strong rule. We urge that it be implemented quickly and not weakened in any way.

Every major faith tradition calls on its followers to protect those at the margins of society who cannot defend themselves: the young, the old, the sick, the poor. And it is exactly these persons who are being hurt first and worst by climate change, the climate change caused by industrial carbon pollution.

The major faith traditions also call on us to protect, even celebrate the natural world that God has given us. God’s love is infinite; the earth’s natural resources are not. Continue reading

Pollution and climate change are costly.

Alan Eccleston and Linda Harris are friends and supporters of PA IPL, and members of the Voluntary Carbon Tax Witness group in their Friends’ Meeting.  They sent their comments to be read in Pittsburgh.  Remarks by PA IPL supporters are published on this blog alongside PA IPL’s official remarks. 

mt_toby_climatewitnessWe strongly support the proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

With 40% of carbon dioxide emissions coming from the smoke stacks of coal burning power stations, it is essential to regulate these pollutants.

Several members of our family suffer from asthma and other pulmonary ailments.  It is particularly distressing for us and others we know who have no defense against these pollutants.  Until EPA establishes these regulations and begins to require compliance, untold numbers of children and adults will suffer needlessly.

In addition to the immediate health effects, greenhouse gases are negatively impacting climate.  The results are Continue reading

Beyond birdbaths and gardens.

Remarks by PA IPL supporters are published on this blog alongside PA IPL’s official remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own. 

My name is sister Donna Zwigart.  I am a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, a Roman Catholic order  of 452 women who serve mostly in the United States and minister in Puerto Rico,  Africa and Peru.

Our western Pennsylvania regional house, Mt. Alvernia, is located in Millvale, a borough about 3 miles from downtown Pittsburgh.

I want to extend my gratitude to you for eliciting comments from the citizens on the proposed regulations for existing coal-fire plants.

As you may know, St. Francis was declared the patron of ecology by the United Nations about 35 years ago.  So I feel qualified, as a Franciscan, to make my testimony here today.

St. Francis was not only about bird baths and gardens…his teachings are about relationships.  We are all brothers and sisters in this kin-dom of Earth.  We are our brothers and sisters keepers as part of the family of all of Creation.  We are kin!  So whatever effects or harms our kin is of great concern to us.

If the air we breathe is polluted then all of the Earth’s family is hampered and cannot be healthy.  We have seen evidence of this in our Pittsburgh region.  We have Continue reading