Now Available: Video of Main Line IPL Chapter’s October 3rd Program!

Why Go Green?
The Popularity of Natural Burials

Introduction to the Green Funerary Movement

For our October 3rd program, Angela Burke and Kirsten Bryant-Phillip present about the “green” funerary movement.

You may have heard about the growing trends of “green” or natural funeral and burial service for end-of-life planning. What is it all about and why are environmentally conscious people considering this option today?

Join Angela Burke and Kirsten Bryant-Phillip, Family Service Representatives at Laurel Hill Cemetery, located in Bala Cynwyd, PA, for a fascinating introduction to the “green” funerary movement. Laurel Hill maintains an award-winning “green” burial section and native meadow, Nature’s Sanctuary. During this virtual presentation, you will explore cultural understandings of death as it relates to the environment and its impacts on the deceased.


This is a recording of our September meeting, which was moved to allow our Jewish friends to conclude their Rosh Hashanah celebration. Shana Tovah!


Email us or sign up here if you would like to join Main Line IPL!

Join IPL’s Faith Climate Voter Text Bank

Voting is a pivotal and sacred duty you have not only to uphold for yourself but also for your community. Elections are a reflection on the values that will shape our future. However, many Americans of faith and conscience are unlikely to vote in the midterm elections this November. You have the power to help change that! How? By reaching out to people where they are–on their cellphones via text message.

Each text is sent by a volunteer like you from our easy-to-use online system, not your own phone or phone number. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection.

We will quickly train you on how to connect with potential voters using pre-written messages in a text bank event on Zoom.

Sending text messages to voters works. In 2020, Interfaith Power & Light volunteers like you texted more than 235,000 infrequent voters of faith and your outreach increased voter turnout by 1.7% — three times more effective than benchmark campaigns!

Their voices matter, and with your help they can make themselves heard.

Sign up to join a text bank.

Manchin Asks Schumer to Remove Permitting Language from Continuing Resolution

September 27, 2022

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on the decision to remove the comprehensive permitting reform language from the Continuing Resolution:

“It is unfortunate that members of the United States Senate are allowing politics to put the energy security of our nation at risk. The last several months, we have seen firsthand the destruction that is possible as Vladimir Putin continues to weaponize energy. A failed vote on something as critical as comprehensive permitting reform only serves to embolden leaders like Putin who wish to see America fail. For that reason and my firmly held belief that we should never come to the brink of a government shutdown over politics, I have asked Majority Leader Schumer to remove the permitting language from the Continuing Resolution we will vote on this evening.

“Over the last several weeks there has been broad consensus on the urgent need to address our nation’s flawed permitting system. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to move forward on this critical legislation to meet the challenges of delivering affordable reliable energy Americans desperately need. We should never depend on other countries to supply the energy we need when we can produce it here at home. Accelerating the construction of energy infrastructure is critical to delivering that energy to the American people and our allies around the world. Inaction is not a strategy for energy independence and security.”

Now Available: Video of September 21 Meeting in Partnership with JEA!

The Connection Between Climate and Voting with PA IPL & JEA

This meeting, recorded Wednesday, September 21, 2022, is part of PA IPL’s ongoing partnership with Jewish Earth Alliance (JEA).

TOPIC:
The Connection Between Climate and Voting

SPEAKER:
Phyllis Blumberg, PA organizer for the JEA and Board member at PA IPL

This joint session with JEA focuses on how voting is the most essential way Americans can express their concerns and opinions. Citizens concerned about climate change need to be consistently voting in every election, and voting for candidates who will work to address climate change.


JEA provides ongoing training and templates for monthly letter writing campaigns to local, state, and federal officials. The meetings provide a template, information, and guidance for all those who are interested in amplifying the message of Climate Justice.

Once you learn how easy Jewish Earth Alliance makes it, through their background information and template letter, for everyone to write letters to their federal officials, we hope you will write to your members of Congress now and for the next few months.

It’s National Voter Registration Day!

Are You Registered to Vote?

It’s National Voter Registration Day! Today is a national day of action to increase participation in our democracy.

As part of our Faith Climate Justice Voter Campaign, we partnered with When We All Vote to provide us with our own voter registration portal that allows people to check their voter registration status or register to vote.

Join Interfaith Power & Light and participate by checking your voter registration status or registering to vote.

Why check if you’re an experienced voter? Well, a lot has happened since the last election. Some have moved, changed their name, turned 18, or attained citizenship. Individuals who were previously incarcerated may now be eligible to vote. And it’s possible some of us may have been “purged” from the voting rolls. Now is the time to find out!

Take just a few minutes now to check your voter registration status.

As the world continues to reel from climate disasters, from Pakistan to Puerto Rico to California, we hope there will be historic numbers of people voting with climate in mind this year.

You can help the campaign by texting or emailing weall.vote/ipl to three friends or family members asking them to check their voter registration status too.

Our right to vote is sacred, a privilege, and an obligation. When we all vote, society will better reflect our shared values.

This year so much is at stake. The results could have enormous repercussions on how we care for Creation and whether we deliver climate justice for our most vulnerable neighbors.

Please make sure you are ready to participate.

Also, don’t forget to pledge to be a Faith Climate Justice Voter!

EPA Heavy-Duty Rule State Sign-On Letter to Senators

Sign on by FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 by close of business.

September X, 2022

Dear Senator:

On behalf of our millions of supporters, we write in response to the letter submitted on July 11, 2022, addressing EPA’s proposed rule on “Control of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicles Standards” (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-QAR-2019-0055). The letter expressed reservations about EPA’s proposed Option 1. We wish to assuage those concerns and emphasize why EPA’s final rule should strengthen and exceed Option 1.

The Importance of a Strengthened Option 1

EPA must finalize the strongest possible rule to address climate and air pollution impacts caused by heavy-duty trucks. Heavy-duty vehicles make up 10 percent of U.S. on-road vehicles, but contribute 45 percent of the transportation sector’s nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution, 57 percent of its fine particulate matter (PM) pollution, and 28 percent of the sector’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 40 percent of U.S. ports and other freight facilities are in areas failing to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and particulate matter. This is concerning, as 72 million people live within 200 meters of a truck freight route, and are disproportionately people of color and lower income. A stringent Option 1 would create significant public health and environmental impacts needed.

EPA’s proposed Option 1 builds on the success of the Low-NOx Heavy Duty Omnibus (HDO) rule, which has already been adopted by California, Oregon, and Massachusetts, and is under consideration in other states. This option would implement NOx standards in two steps, starting in 2027 and align with some state actions after an additional step up in stringency in 2031. Under Option 1, the expectation is that by 2031, NOx standards would be 90 percent lower than today’s standards. EPA estimates this would achieve a 60 percent reduction in harmful NOx emissions, compared to the weaker Option 2 only achieving 47 percent reduction. Finalizing an enhanced version of Option 1 that occurs on a condensed timeline is critical for freight-impacted communities, given the urgency of the issue.

Need to Take a Consensus-based Approach

Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to set “standards which reflect the greatest degree of emission reduction achievable through the application of technology which the Administrator determines will be available for the model year to which such standards apply.” It also requires the agency to give “appropriate consideration” to costs and other factors. Following three days of public hearings and a public comment period on this proposal, diverse stakeholders have demonstrated overwhelming support for EPA to at a minimum adopt Option 1, if not a more stringent final rule. These stakeholders included health advocates, community groups, scientists, the business community, emission control manufacturers, state and local elected officials, and even engine manufacturers.

Feasibility of the Standards

Option 1 does not require reinventing emission control systems for internal combustion engines according to extensive multi-year research, testing, and stakeholder engagement from California regulators which concluded meeting a 0.02 g/bhp-hr NOx standard by 2027 is feasible and cost-effective. In addition, Ford, a major truck manufacturer, publicly stated they can meet the standard. Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) also publicly affirmed Option 1’s feasibility. Meanwhile, other manufacturers are acquiring emission control companies capable of meeting the stronger state standards. A strengthened Option 1 also includes compliance flexibilities to ensure manufacturers are able to meet the standard, incentivize ZEV deployment, and maximize emission reductions.

Unintended Consequences: Diversion of Investment and Labor Concerns

Meeting stringent combustion engine pollution standards and deploying ZEVs are not mutually exclusive, yet there are manufacturers fighting strong standards to “avoid a diversion of investment” from electrification efforts, while publicly announcing advances in zero-emissions technology and significant investments in truck charging networks. In addition, significant investments are available to support them from the recently passed Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Manufacturers have cited concerns on costs, pointing to an unverifiable survey conducted with inflated projections and an industry-funded report lacking peer review. In contrast, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), MECA, and EPA, have published lab testing-backed cost projections that are significantly less than the industry survey.

Industry also argues that these standards come at a cost, causing fleet managers to stock up on older truck models before the new standard comes into effect (“pre-buy”), resulting in a decrease in sales after the standard begins (“no-buy” or “low-buy”). A small group of manufacturers claim these standards will result in job cuts like previous heavy-duty emission standards. However, EPA issued a report in 2021 concluding that larger economic forces–not emissions standards–have been primary drivers of past declines in heavy-duty truck sales, and showed how critics conflate correlation with causation. 

Conclusion

EPA must quickly and effectively address greenhouse gas and air pollution from heavy-duty trucks, and the best way to achieve this is by strengthening Option 1. We hope to have your support and we look forward to continuing discussions on the best pathways to reduce emissions in affected communities and growing manufacturing jobs in this sector.

Signed,
Your Name