On July 10, several Pennsylvania religious leaders traveled to Washington DC to offer in-person testimony to the EPA regarding delay of implementation of New Source Performance Standards for Methane emissions from oil and gas operations. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0505
Good afternoon. I am Rabbi Daniel Swartz of Temple Hesed of Scranton. I’m also Board President of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, which works with congregations and people of faith across Pennsylvania to address the moral dimensions of climate change. In addition, I have a background in children’s environmental health, including serving for several years on EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee.
The Book of Proverbs gives us blunt advice about how to distinguish between wise and foolish decisions. In Proverbs 22:3, we read: “the prudent see danger and take cover, but the simpleton keeps going and pays the penalty.” In the case of the new source rule we are discussing today, we know that there is danger. We know the solution, one that has already been applied under multiple state-level standards and has been shown to be both practical and affordable. To simply keep going, to put off taking cover by delaying the implementation of this rule, is, by this biblical standard, clearly foolish.
And worse than foolish. EPA has officially stated that the health and safety risk posed by any delay “may have a disproportionate effect on children.” To recognize that and yet still call for delay is not just foolish but immoral.
Since 1995, all of EPA regulations and rules are supposed to take into account that children aren’t just little adults when it comes to environmental health and safety. Their developing Continue reading