DEP Hearings: Rev. Alison Cornish

Rev. Cornish is the Executive Director of PA IPL.  She testified at the PA DEP listening session in Philadelphia County on September 30, 2015.  Alison headshot

Good Afternoon.  I am the Reverend Alison Cornish, and I serve as the Executive Director of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, a community of congregations, faith-based organizations and individuals of faith responding to climate change as a moral issue.  Through advocacy, energy conservation, energy efficiency and the use of clean, renewable energy, we help people of faith be model stewards of Creation.  We are the Pennsylvania affiliate of Interfaith Power & Light, a national religious response to the threat of climate change.  We see climate change as a moral issue.

We recognize that the Clean Power Plan is the single biggest and most ambitious action the U.S. has ever taken to tackle climate change. It sets the first-ever limits on Continue reading

Methane Testimony: Dan Scheid

IMG_1844I want to thank the EPA for proposing this standard on methane emissions, which is crucial to slow climate change, to improve public health, and to protect our children’s future. I also thank you for inviting public discussion on this issue: it is not a special interest or partisan issue, but is of vital concern to every person now living on the planet, and especially to every resident of Pennsylvania and to every American.

I speak today not only as a resident of Pittsburgh but also as a person of faith, as a Catholic who is inspired by the recent visit of Pope Francis. As some of you may know, Pope Francis issued a major document called Laudato Si’ in June of this year. In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis continues the Catholic Church’s longstanding teaching on climate change, affirming that it is real, that it is a moral issue, and that prudence demands immediate and urgent action.

The encyclical follows a familiar format for Catholic teaching: See-Judge-Act. The first element is to see what is happening, to rely on the “best scientific research available” (§11) today. And science is telling us that methane pollution persists for decades; that Continue reading

Press Conference: Sister Donna

Prior to delivering her testimony at the EPA hearing, Sister Donna Zwigart participated in a press conference with several others.  

My name is Sister Donna Zwigart, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities whose WPA regional house is in Millvale, PA.

I want to thank you, our media representatives for taking time to hear us today as we Continue reading

Methane Testimony: Joy Bergey

JoyBergeyMy name is Joy Bergey, and I speak in my role as Director of the Environmental Justice Center of Chestnut Hill United Church. Based in Philadelphia, the Center is an inter-religious program working with congregations and individuals to address problems of environmental injustice.

The Environmental Justice Center thanks the EPA for proposing this rule. We urge that it be implemented quickly and not weakened in any way. In fact, we urge that it be strengthened.

I traveled to Pittsburgh from the city that just hosted His Holiness Pope Francis over the weekend.

Given the deeply inspiring message of the Pope, can there be doubt in anyone’s mind at this point that taking strong national action to limit climate change pollution is an urgent moral imperative?

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.

With no national standards in place to address methane from oil and gas wells, and with the Continue reading

Methane Testimony: Rev. Bill Thwing

31664_10150197269130105_5950125_nGood morning, my name is William Thwing, I am a pastor in Johnstown, PA, a  founding member and former officer of both the Pennsylvania Council of Churches interfaith Climate Change Campaign and Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light. I offered testimony at two earlier EPA Methane Hearings and my testimony today is an extension of those previous testimonies.

We would like to thank the EPA for holding these public hearings and commend you for the for the progress you have made since 2012 in inventorying methane emissions nationally from bottom-up and monitoring them from top-down,  and for devising programs that should help to reduce  free methane in the Continue reading

All The Water That Is: children’s message notes

The Rev. Alison Cornish
Children’s Story – Faith UCC – September 20, 2015

Untitled design (1)

Drawing by Jacob, after the Children’s Message.



  • Who knows the story of Noah and the ark?
  • Nature of stories – a bit here, there – Bible stories – written down a long time ago, probably after being told out loud a lot first –
  • There are other ways of knowing about the world when the stories might have been written – or happened – and we know from these ‘other ways’ (archaeology, geology, anthropology) that, just like today, water was very, very important – essential – for life, and could also bring great harm

All life – plants, animals, people – need the right amount of water – not too much, not too little – people in the time of the story of Noah knew that, too – too little, can’t grow food – too much – pushed out of homes, whole towns.

Still happens – drought in California, in the U.S. – in Sudan, in Africa – floods just this Continue reading