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Washington Report – April 2024

Apr 2, 2024 | Uncategorized

Written by: Madison Mayhew, Federal Policy Manager

Happy Earth Month! Ramadan Mubarak to our Muslim friends and Chag Sameach to our Jewish friends celebrating Passover later this month. 

The Latest on Climate Policy

Congressional Review Act 

The Congressional Review Act is a tool Congress may use to overturn final rules issued by federal agencies. The CRA requires agencies to submit final rules to Congress and the Government Accountability Office prior to the rules taking effect. For example, the EPA had to submit the recent finalized soot and light duty vehicles rule to Congress. Congress has sixty days to introduce a joint resolution disapproving of an agency’s final rule once it is submitted. 

Currently, there are CRA resolutions proposed for the finalized soot and LDV rules, but more are expected. People of faith were key in getting these rules across the finish line – Congress must hold the line and protect these rules that will save lives. 

Light Duty Vehicles

On March 20th, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its newest set of light-duty vehicle standards for model years 2027 through 2032. According to the EPA’s own analysis, the transportation sector accounts for approximately 29% of greenhouse gas emissions—more than any other sector in the U.S.—and is the fastest growing emitter of climate pollution.

These standards are a big step in the right direction, and we applaud the consistent efforts of the Administration to move us toward a better climate future. At the same time, we are concerned about the stringency of the final rules and believe that we can, and should, go further in our commitments to protect all people and our Sacred Earth. As people of faith and conscience, we know that strong clean car standards are central to reducing emissions, mitigating the impacts of climate change on our most vulnerable neighbors, and fulfilling our moral obligation to leave a habitable world for current and future generations.

Read IPL’s full statement here.

Madison Mayhew and IPL Climate Justice Advocacy and Programs Intern, Micah Buckwalter, attended the EPA announcement for the LDV rule. On the right, they are pictured with Ali Zaidi, the National Climate Advisor for the White House.

Heavy Duty Vehicles

On March 29th, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its newest set of heavy-duty vehicle standards for model years 2027 through 2032. While these standards are a step in the right direction and we applaud the consistent efforts of the Administration to move us toward a better climate future, we are concerned about the stringency of the final rules and believe that we can, and should, go further in our commitments to protect all people and our Sacred Earth. 

These standards are critical for protecting the health and safety of all Americans, especially BIPOC communities and low-income communities, as 45% of residents in counties with high truck traffic are people of color, compared to 38.4% of the total US population. We celebrate this final heavy-duty vehicle rule as a critical step forward while acknowledging the need to continue working to eliminate unnecessary loopholes that unfairly benefit the oil & gas industry and truck manufacturers at the expense of our communities and Sacred Earth.

Read IPL’s full statement here.

Methane 

The preventable venting and leaking of methane (“natural gas”) and the unnecessary burning of methane via flaring from the oil and gas industry is a significant climate problem. Several new federal rules will help to address this waste of methane. 

A new rule from the EPA bans routine flaring and requires oil & gas industry to monitor for leaks and establish a program to detect large methane releases from so-called “super emitters.” The rule requires industry, for the first time, to use leak detection and equipment upgrades to address wasted methane emissions from existing sources, along with stronger emissions standards for new oil & gas infrastructure. EPA estimates it will reduce methane pollution from covered sources 80% from 2024 to 2038.

In addition, the Waste Emissions Charge (WEC) will soon be finalized. This was part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the only “stick” among many carrots. It will impose a fee on industry if it exceeds methane pollution thresholds. It incentivizes the oil & gas industry to preemptively fix leaks and avoid the fee, and it works hand in hand with the EPA methane rule.

Finally, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule will take steps to reduce waste from routine venting and flaring of gas at well sites on BLM federally owned public lands.

Legal challenges are happening or expected on all of these common-sense rules. 

Action Opportunities 

Are you ready to vote?

Through the power of our vote, people of faith and conscience can communicate our shared values of caring for our common home and living out our love and respect for one another. We can join together to protect our Sacred Earth and create a better world for current and future generations.

Visit IPL’s Faith Votes Campaign site now to check your voter registration status.

Watch IPL President Rev. Susan Hendershot announce the campaign and share why voting is important to her:


​​​​​IPL has partnered with BallotReady to provide everything on your ballot – in one place!  You can find out how to vote, research every candidate and measure on your ballot, check your registration, and get to know your elected officials at every level of government.

Share this tool with your family and friends, and stay tuned for resources to help your faith community use BallotReady to get out the vote.

Let’s join together to vote our values and make a difference.

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