FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2018
Interfaith Power & Light
Contact: Susan Stephenson
Faith Leaders Decry Environmental Regulatory Rollbacks
WASHINGTON (October 30, 2018) – Today, Interfaith Power & Light and 22 of its state affiliate organizations joined 132 organizations from a diverse set of faith backgrounds spanning 33 states in urging the Trump Administration and federal officials to reverse rollbacks of crucial environmental safeguards.
In a letter delivered to the Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and the President, the organizations asserted: “By undermining and weakening our country’s ability to protect our environment and address climate change, the United States government has taken a backseat in this time of ecological crisis… The result is direct harm to the environment and vulnerable communities—communities that we serve and of which we are members.”
The EPA’s own projections show that rolling back methane waste prevention rules, clean car standards, and the Clean Power Plan will increase greenhouse gas and carbon pollution. As many states are still recovering from the devastation of Hurricanes Maria, Florence, and Michael, such rollbacks will inevitably exacerbate the impacts of climate change, multiplying the frequency and severity of extreme weather at home and abroad.
The anticipated rollback of existing Mercury and Air Toxic Standards will disproportionately affect vulnerable communities, pregnant women, children, and people of color, exposing them to harmful toxins. These pollutants pose a significant threat to Americans’ well-being, as exposure increases asthma and allergy attacks as well as heart attacks. By the EPA’s own projections, the combined impact of these rollbacks could cause nearly 14,000 premature American deaths annually. These are real people’s lives that can be saved by acting now to clean up our environment.
Not only do these rollbacks exacerbate severe weather and undermine public health, they endanger and pollute the water, air, and ecosystems that we ultimately rely on and are called to protect.
As we approach the midterm elections, these communities of faith look to support leaders that will protect our common home and those who will be most harmed by its degradation. Acting responsibly to address the climate crisis should be a top priority for current and future political leaders.
“These reckless rollbacks of climate and pollution safeguards have real impacts on families and communities,” said Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light. “As people of faith, we are called to speak out in love and compassion on behalf of those who are most vulnerable. It is our moral duty.”
For the full letter, please click here. To learn more, please visit interfaithpowerandlight.org.