Ethics with our economics

Rachel Mark is a charter PA IPL board member and an active member of the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg submitted the following comments to the EPA.  They are published here alongside  PA IPL’s remarks.  When you’re inspired,  submit a written comment of your own.


I am here to support the proposed EPA regulations on CO2 emissions. These regulations are an essential first step to reduce pollution and carbon emissions in the United States. I am a member of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light, a faith-based organization that addresses climate change as a moral issue.

Members of all faith traditions consider their moral and ethical values as essential and integral to their faith. The ethics of all traditions mandate that their faith members care for, or at the very least, do no harm to others, especially the poor, the aged, the children, and the most vulnerable. Yet that is what we do when we pollute the air and water which are necessary for life.

To argue in terms of economics alone does not include these critical ethical considerations. Our obligation to those we love, to our global neighbors, and to the health and stability of our world truly matter. Carbon pollution is not an inconvenience to our life; it is life-threatening.  Continue reading Ethics with our economics

May God again declare “It is good.”

Rev. Paul Lubold coordinated the faith voices at the EPA hearings in Pittsburgh, including fellowship over an early breakfast followed by procession, and shared song, and prayer in front of the federal building where the hearings took place.  His personal testimony appears here alongside those of other PA IPL supporters and PA IPL’s official remarks.paultestifying

I am Paul Lubold, pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). I am also on the staff of Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in PA, which is one of our church’s state public policy offices.

I join other Lutherans who are calling for “Clean Air for All of God’s Children, which is the name of a current campaign to fully support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which is seeking to limit carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants.

The ELCA is a denomination of about 4 million members.  Our Presiding Bishop, the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, USA, the Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori, issued a joint statement last month Continue reading May God again declare “It is good.”

A true-story parable about delay.


Rev. Cheryl Pyrch, a charter PA IPL board member also serving as convener of Philadelphia PA IPL submitted the following comments to the EPA.  They are published here alongside  PA IPL’s remarks.  When you’re inspired,  submit a written comment of your own.

My name is Cheryl Pyrch.  I’m the pastor at Summit Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and serve on the Board of the Pennsylvania affiliate of Interfaith Power & Light, people of faith responding to climate change as a moral issue.    Thank you for  this opportunity to testify in support of the Clean Power Plan.

At IPL and in my congregation we’re concerned about climate change for the reasons of justice, compassion and gratitude for God’s creation that others have mentioned.

But I’d like to tell a parable about timing.  It’s a true story.

Our church was built over 100 years ago.  It’s a massive building made from Wissahickon schist, built for a congregation of a thousand.  For decades Summit’s been a congregation of one to two hundred, but has cared responsibility for the building with limited resources.  Dozens of community groups also use it.  But certain projects had to be deferred.  One of them was the tower.   For years, folks had noticed signs of trouble:  small cracks, a disturbing bulge.  Six years ago the trustees acted.  They called in a top drawer engineering firm to look at the tower.  The engineers proposed a $55,000 solution, and encouraged us to begin sooner rather than later, although there was no immediate danger.  So we got into gear, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in a capital campaign, and got quotes from different contractors.

But just before the work was to begin, a large stone fell from the tower in the middle of the night.  Then a much smaller stone fell on the head of a parishioner looking at a new crack.  Continue reading A true-story parable about delay.

We are at a time when we must lean toward caring.

Rev. Barry Lewis, retired from pastoring at Sewickley United Methodist Church joined faith leaders for fellowship, prayer, and song just prior to the EPA hearings in Pittsburgh submitted the following comments to the EPA.  They are published here alongside PA IPL’s remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.  FaithLeadersEPA

I am a Pittsburgh native aware of the history of industrial pollution through my lifetime from the 1940’s, and remember the courageous actions taken to reduce emissions that made it unnecessary to light street lights at noon.

But we haven’t reached the goal of clean air and water.

As a United Methodist, I am committed to our social principles which state: Continue reading We are at a time when we must lean toward caring.

Protect Creation, respect of all life.

Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark  submitted the following comments to the EPA. They are published here alongside PA IPL’s remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.  

thumb_maryelizabethclark_1024My name is Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark, a Sister of St. Joseph of Philadelphia. I am here today representing the Sisters of St. Joseph and Chestnut Hill College of Philadelphia. I am also an Ambassador of the U.S. Catholic Bishops Climate Change Coalition. Speaking from a faith perspective and the moral imperative of doing no harm to God’s creation, I implore you to write Emission Guidelines for reducing carbon pollution from existing fossil fuel power plants that truly make a difference for global climate.

As Pope Francis has said in his call to us all, “Whenever human beings fail to live up to environmental responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened.   Let us be protectors of creation.”

The tradition of Catholic social teaching offers a developing and distinctive perspective on environmental issues. We believe that the following themes drawn from the tradition are integral dimensions of ecological responsibility: Continue reading Protect Creation, respect of all life.

Better than incremental: repatriate $ to invest in us all

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.  Jon Eich is a former County Commissioner and committed public servant.  When asked about his faith, he responds “right now I consider my faith limited to Matthew 25:40.” JonEich

I have travelled here to today to speak in support of Clean Power Plan.  As a community planner, I have devoted many years to helping communities improve their quality of life.  Quality of life is multi-faceted, and includes promoting economic development, protecting environmental resources, developing infrastructure, providing for public services, and assuring public safety.

One of the charges given in Pennsylvania’s enabling legislation for planning is to minimize such problems as may presently exist or which may be foreseen (Source: Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Section 105).  Scientific research has made a compelling case that human activity that adds carbon to the atmosphere is contributing to climate change.  But beyond science, common sense tells us that if humans release the carbon which has been stored in fossil fuels for hundreds of millions of years in the very short timeframe of a couple hundred years, there is going to be an impact.

The impact of carbon on the atmosphere, on ecosystems, and hence, on people, is a problem that currently exists.  Greater impacts can be foreseen unless action is taken.  Therefore, planners and community leaders have an obligation to take action. Continue reading Better than incremental: repatriate $ to invest in us all