“listening sessions” – Sylvia Neely

Sylvia Neely photoToday, the EPA held a “listening session” in Philadelphia at which EPA officials heard statements about the proposal to create standards for existing power plants to limit carbon pollution by anyone who registered for a 3-minute slot.  These listening sessions were scheduled in 11 cities across the US.  

Several PA IPL leaders read statements, or wrote statements that were read for them.  Another faith leader, Rev. Mitch Hescox of Evangelical Environmental Network was the first speaker today.   We’ll post these as they come in.  

Below is former Board President Sylvia Neely’s statement.  Use this form to submit your own comments to the EPA.   

I am a on the board of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light and a member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in State College, PA.  I lead a program called Weatherization First, that brings teams from congregations to weatherize homes of low-income families.  I also give classes on how to reduce household energy use and help people reduce their fuel bills.  We are working in our community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but we need state and national standards to help us in this work.  We are concerned about what future generations will suffer because of climate change.

We believe that God has entrusted us with taking care of his creation and passing it on to the people that will succeed us.  As a Christian, I am inspired by the words of scripture that repeatedly speak of God’s love for the earth.  Here is a familiar scriptural passage:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  If God loves the world that much, surely we should also love the world and protect it from dangerous pollution that is already hurting not only people, but all of God’s creatures.  Creation is not ours to use up.  It is God’s and we should be sustaining it.  Climate change is leading to the decline of agriculture, the loss of forests, and the degradation of the oceans, all of which are worrisome for our ability to sustain the miraculous web of life on earth.

Although technological solutions may help eventually, what we need to do now and quickly is reduce waste and inefficiency.  Producing electricity in a more efficient manner is an important step forward.  I heartily endorse the issuance of rules that will result in the production of electricity that will be more efficient and less polluting.

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Inspired?  Use this form to submit your own comments to the EPA.