“Listen with the ear of the Heart”

EPA hearings on the (finally!) proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants took place in the last week of July.  Remarks by PA IPL supporters vary enormously, and are worth reading.  When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.  

image14521My name is Pat Lupo and I am here today representing the Benedictine Sisters of Erie PA. I believe that Faith Communities all over the world are called to demonstrate their commitment to environmental action and to do it in partnership with environmental organizations, their local communities, and civic and governmental entities.

Speaking from this faith perspective, our call to stewardship and the moral imperative of doing no harm to Creation, I urge you to enforce Emission Guidelines that will finally limit carbon pollution. The time to act is now; we cannot continue to take a step backward each time there is pressure to do so. Our best evidence indicates that power plants are the largest stationary source of carbon emissions in the United States, and a major contributor to climate change. I do not speak as an expert on carbon pollution or climate change but I do speak as an advocate for people present and future and our wonderful planet. In the words of Pope Francis I remind you, “Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with respect and gratitude.”

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

  • A God-centered and sacramental view of the universe, which grounds human accountability for the fate of the earth;
  • A consistent respect for human life which extends to respect for all creation;
  • A world view affirming the ethical significance of global interdependence and the common good;
  • An ethic of solidarity promoting cooperation and a just structure of sharing in the world community;
  • An understanding of the universal purpose of created things, which requires equitable use of the earth’s resources;
  • An option for the poor, which gives passion to the quest for an equitable and sustainable world;
  • A conception of authentic development, which offers a direction for progress that respects human dignity and the limits of material growth;

As Benedictines we are taught to “listen with the ear of the heart”, when we all do this, then our view of the earth will bring us to openness and compassion for the earth. Our religious traditions call us to stewardship – a call tied to environmental responsibility and civic engagement.

As you consider Emission Guidelines to provide carbon limits on fossil fuel power plants I urge you to set limits that actually do the job of reducing pollution and global climate change. EPA’s proposed rule will help limit carbon pollution, uphold human life and demonstrate a greater respect for the planet. It needs to be done and it needs to be done now and not in some future decade! Thank you.

Pat Lupo, OSB
Environmental Education and Advocacy
Benedictine Sisters of Erie PA
St. Scholastica’s Priory   355 East 9th St. Erie PA 16503

The EPA hearings on the (finally) proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants took place the last week in July in Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Denver.  PA IPL members offered testimony both in Pittsburgh and Washington.  Testimony posted here is shared by permission of the authors.  The remarks vary enormously, and are worth reading.  When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.