Cherish and nurture God’s handiwork.

Brother John Kerr, TOR, St. Bernardine Monastery, Hollidaysburg, PA, submitted the following remarks to the EPA.  They’re published alongside PA IPL’s remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.

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As a person of faith, I believe God’s creation is a precious gift for which I am eternally grateful. I direct a community garden in an agricultural area of central Pennsylvania and see what happens when extreme and inconsistent weather patterns affect us and local farmers. Many who have been living here much longer than I have say that they have never experienced stranger and more damaging weather than the past few years.  We are all concerned even if we are uncertain what is producing such extremes of heat and cold, rain and drought.

I support Pres. Obama’s direction on ways to combat climate change and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, the single largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S. Despite the fact that other countries are using large amounts of coal, I think the U.S. must take the lead in reducing its dependency, since we have been burning coal for much longer and at higher rates until the last few years.  What may be lost in coal-producing jobs, which I know are important in Pennsylvania, will be gained in green energy jobs, a cleaner environment and a healthier citizenry.

100_2124My life as a Franciscan friar is defined by the way I treat the environment.  St. Francis believed if creation is so magnificent then how magnificent must the Creator be.  I try to see all creation as God’s handiwork to be cherished and nurtured.  To that end I have worked to lead monthly webinars for the Climate Campaign of the Franciscan Action Network and am a member of Interfaith Power & Light of Pennsylvania.  I acknowledge my own complicity in using more than my global share of our resources but am trying to change those areas of my personal lifestyle and the larger world around me.

I support the full implementation of the Clean Power Plan.

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.  Remarks by PA IPL supporters are published on this blog alongside PA IPL’s official remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.