Inside the Build Back Better Act with PA IPL & JEA

Join us Wednesday, October 20 at 6:00pm for a meeting as part of PA IPL‘s ongoing partnership with Jewish Earth Alliance (JEA).

In this meeting we will be discussing what is currently included in the Build Back Better Act, what has been or might be eliminated, and most importantly what can concerned citizens do.

Our main speaker will be Emily Wirzba, Manager of Government Relations at the Environmental Defense Action Fund. She has the inside story. Emily will talk for about 10 minutes and answer questions. We will discuss what citizens can and must do to get climate solutions passed.

You can register here for this event.

We hope to see you then, and in the meantime keep pressuring Senator Casey and your US Congressperson to support all of the climate solutions in the Build Back Better Bill. If you need help on how to call or email them and what to say, please contact Phyllis for assistance.

Register now and receive an email providing the Zoom link for the meeting.

Diverse Group of Faith Leaders Deliver Pope’s Climate Appeal to the State Department, Offer Prayers in the Lead Up to COP26

Faith leaders amplify Pope Francis’s moral call to action days before world leaders gather for pivotal climate negotiations and Congress faces deadline to pass historic climate investments

WASHINGTON, DC — As President Biden and world leaders prepare to travel to Glasgow, Scotland for the Conference of Parties (COP), two dozen clergy and faith leaders representing diverse faith traditions gathered outside the State Department to read from and hand deliver a copy of Faith and Science: An Appeal for COP26, a recently-released multifaith climate action Appeal led by His Holiness Pope Francis.

This COP, postponed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marks a critical juncture in global climate negotiations. Five years after the Paris Agreement, countries must increase their greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets to keep average temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and avoid the most harmful impacts of the climate crisis.

“As people of faith and conscience, we understand that the climate crisis is a spiritual crisis and that our faiths call us to prioritize the health and well-being of those who are most vulnerable,” said Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light. “Climate disasters and pollution are bringing death and destruction to communities in the U.S. and globally. It is our sacred calling to act. The U.S. has a moral responsibility to accelerate ambition and care for the most vulnerable people at COP26.”

Recognizing the stakes, the Vatican convened representatives from the world’s major religions to draft the Appeal that faith leaders read from during today’s program. The document, which was released in Rome on October 4, calls on world leaders to take decisive action to confront the climate crisis by raising their commitments at the COP. It also urges wealthier nations to do their fair share by drastically reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and providing funding and support to more vulnerable countries.

“As the Appeal itself notes, we live in ‘an age fraught with division and despair,’ and yet this incredibly diverse group of faith leaders came together, seeking to share a prophetic vision of hope. Now we must ensure that the nations of the world take the actions needed to protect our ‘common home’ and build a just and sustainable future,”  said Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Executive Director, Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Lifeone of four American signatories to the Appeal.

Since the release of the Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home encyclical in 2015, Pope Francis has been a leading voice on climate action. President Biden, a devout Catholic, will have an audience with the Pope just days before the start of the COP. Secretary Kerry, who was also raised in the Catholic faith, met with Pope Francis earlier this year.

“President Biden and Special Envoy Kerry are men of deep Catholic faith. We hope that they find inspiration and courage in Pope Francis’s consistent call for urgent and ambitious climate action centered on justice for the most climate vulnerable communities around the world. This includes intergenerational justice. As the statement said, ‘We inherited a garden; we must not leave a desert to our children,” said Chloe Noel, Faith Economy Ecology Project Coordinator, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.

Participants at today’s event offered prayers for both men as well as other U.S. officials participating in the COP. The vigil was one of hundreds of actions taking place around the world as part of Greenfaith’s Faiths 4 Climate Justice.

“The crisis of climate change is a shared concern for the whole of humanity. It would not spare anybody of its drastic impacts based on one’s economic status, the same is true for nations. If one nation sinks, we all sink. The United States has to lead the world on this.” said Dr. Rajwant Singh, Founder and President, EcoSikhanother signatory to the multifaith Appeal.

The vigil was held as Congress nears a self-imposed deadline to pass a reconciliation package that could include historic levels of investment in clean energy and transportation, and a target of 100% clean energy by 2035. Majority Leader Schumer estimates that fully funding the reconciliation package and infrastructure bill – known as President Bident’s Build Back Better Agenda – could enable the U.S.to cut its emissions by 45% in the next decade, nearly all of the United States’ current 50-52% emissions reductions pledge.

“While today’s program is focused on the Administration, communities of faith are not taking the pressure off Congress for a second,” said Dahlia Rockowitz, Washington Director, Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action. “We know that if Congress fails to pass big and bold climate investments in the Build Back Better package, President Biden will show up in Glasgow empty handed, failing not only the global community, but future generations.”

“The pandemic has devastated communities in the U.S. and across the globe. The road to recovery demands we take bold stands and make substantial investments to ensure communities thrive holistically,” said Sandy Ovalle, Director of Campaigns and Mobilizing, Sojourners. “Christians are watching to ensure climate priorities receive the investments that our communities deserve. Congress must ensure we have the resources to reduce emissions at significant rates to promote our recovery and contribute to our fair share of responsibility to reduce global warming. ” 

Today’s event was organized by Franciscan Action Network, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action, Interfaith Power & Light, Jewish Earth Alliance, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice, and Sojourners.

Photos from today’s vigil will be available in this folder following the event.

October 2021 PA IPL Statewide Monthly Meeting and Program – Build Back with Justice

Faith, Health, and Political Perspectives on Paths Forward

Join PA IPL for our October Statewide Monthly Meeting and Program on October 18th at 7pm. This month’s meeting will focus on if President Biden’s Build Back Better Act is passed.

Three speakers will address the potential of the bill if passed, the impact it would have, and the role of communities and individuals of faith and conscience in passing and following through with the investment in climate justice.

Register now and receive an email providing the Zoom link for the meeting.

There is no fee for this program, but a suggested $5 donation will help us keep doing this work.

Philadelphia PA IPL Local Chapter Meeting – October 2021

The Philly Chapter of PA IPL meets each month on second Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM EST via Zoom. The next meeting will be held on October 12th:

“Bomb Trains” through Philadelphia
Transporting Fracked Gas to Gibbstown, NJ

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The Gibbstown Liquefied Natural Gas [or LNG] Export Terminal is proposed for a deep water port on the Delaware River, south of Philadelphia and north of Chester in Greenwich Twp., NJ. The project’s footprint begins in the Marcellus shale in northcentral PA where shale gas would be extracted from fracked wells, then liquefied at a plant they want to build in Bradford County. From the proposed plant in Wyalusing Twp., PA, trains and trucks would carry the LNG about 200 miles through dozens of communities including densely populated Wilkes Barre, Reading, and Allentown, through Philadelphia neighborhoods, across the Delaware River to New Jersey and south through Camden and other communities. From the proposed terminal dock, the LNG would be transported in enormous ships down the Delaware and overseas for sale.

Up to two 100-tankcar trains per day would traverse Philadelphia – trains that are so dangerous that the federal government banned their use for LNG transport up to now. They are referred to as  “bomb trains” because the explosive force of the LNG should there be an accident would impact all the City, with the most intense and swiftest catastrophic effects along the train route, unjustly impacting Black and Brown and low income communities.

Our presenter, Tracy Carluccio, is Deputy Director and a founder of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN), a non-profit founded in 1989 with the mission of protecting and defending the Delaware River, its tributaries, habitats, and communities, both human and nonhuman. DRN is one of the organizations leading the fight against the Gibbstown LNG terminal and the bomb trains that would supply it. Tracy will be talking about the LNG project, its adverse impacts, the potential for disaster, how something so dangerous got approval, and what can be done now to stop it.

Now Available: Video of September’s PA IPL Statewide Monthly Meeting and Program!

Solar September

September’s PA IPL Statewide program focused on Solar arrays.

Solar is growing by leaps and bounds and congregations are keeping pace by installing solar at an ever increasing rate all over the country. They are financing it through a variety of creative options but the many financing options, their pros and cons, and what is best for each property is often confusing.

Are you thinking of going solar at your congregation? Are you interested in solar for yourself? September’s meeting brought together solar experts who answered many questions from different perspectives. Watch to learn how you can install solar on your property, on your congregation’s property, or otherwise participate in the growing solar sector to combat climate change.

Speakers:

Interfaith Power & Light has a new Solar Financing Guide for Congregations! Read our informative overview on financing options first. Find the Guide and check out all our Solar Resources here.