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.
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:
“We are stewards of creation, responsible for the way we use and abuse creation. Water, air, soil, energy resources, plant and animal life are to be valued and conserved.”
“We acknowledge the global impact of humanity’s disregard for God’s creation. Rampant industrialization and the corresponding increase in the use of fossil fuels have led to a buildup of pollutants in the earth’s atmosphere. These ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions threaten to alter dramatically the earth’s climate for generations to come with severe environmental, economic, and social implications. The adverse impacts of global climate change disproportionately affect individuals and nations least responsible for the emissions. We, therefore, support efforts of all governments to require mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and call on individuals, congregations, businesses, industries, and communities to reduce their emissions.”
On the editorial page of the newspaper, I read statements supporting the coal and gas industries, and statements supporting the EPA regulations. Points were made by both sides. But we are at a time when we must lean towards caring for the environment with all the resources we have…and we have the resources, talents, and technology to accomplish the task.
The countries of Europe are accepting the challenge. I was in Germany and Holland last summer and saw evidence of a commitment to solar and wind power. I saw a whole apartment complex powered with solar panels. Four years ago we placed 34 solar panels on our roof which has generated 23,140 KWH so far. We did this because we agree with the wisdom of the Native Americans who live by this principle:
Before making a decision they would ask: “How will this decision affect those living 7 generations from now?
Imagine how clean our water, rivers, lakes, and air would be if we were as wise.