The Common Good

Voices for Cleaner Air

WOW! More than 3,000 of you submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding their proposed carbon regulation. Thank you for your heartfelt letters and remarks in support of this rule -- read some of them below!

What’s next?

First, comments on this rule will be received through June 25th, so please tell your friends and family members to take action! You can also attend a public hearing -- there are two hearings  on May 24th -- one in Washington D.C. and one in Chicago. Please email me if you’re interested in attending or want more information. 

Also on May 24th, Sojourners is hosting a free teleconference: “Winning the Conversation on Creation Care and Climate Change,” featuring an all-star lineup of Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (Evangelical Climate Scientist), Dr. Calvin B. DeWitt (Professor, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin), Lyndsay Moseley (Director of Advocacy, Healthy Air Campaign at American Lung Association), and Rev. Mitch Hescox (President & CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network). The purpose of the call is to equip pastors and faith leaders with answers to common questions on climate change and advise them on how to communicate theologically, culturally, and scientifically with climate change skeptics. Interested? Sign up here!

Voices for Cleaner Air:
Why are people supporting the EPA carbon rule? Faith, health, science, family, you name it. Below you’ll find some samples from Sojourners members.

"Living in Salt Lake City, I deal with dirty air almost every day. Though only a portion results from energy generation, this portion is substantial enough to have negative effects on my health and the health of my family. Making the proposed regulation a Federal law would be hugely beneficial to my family and the more than one million residents of the Salt Lake Valley." - James C., UT

"Here in eastern Pennsylvania the dirt from a power plant has been affecting our neighbors in New Jersey. Our Judeo-Christian heritage instructs us to "love our neighbors as ourselves." Keeping the air clean, and placing stringent requirements on new power plants, is one way we can express our love both for ourselves and for our neighbors." - Donald R., PA

"As a hospital chaplain I see too many people whose health has been negatively impacted by polluted air.  Now our survival as a planet is at stake.  Please do not give up this good fight!" - Jim C., IL

"I wholeheartedly support this proposed new rule.  I live in San Diego and am grateful for SDG&E that is taking steps to get more of their power from wind, solar, biothermal and therefore reduce CO2 emissions. We need our country to do more to keep our air clean." - Jon F., La Mesa, CA

"As an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I applaud and support your support of limiting emissions into our air. Please keep steadfast in being a voice for the earth that all creatures call home.  I am just a poor country pastor but I am willing to pay for clean energy, safe energy and energy that does not threaten the air that so many breathe.  We are called to speak and for the least among us, and that includes all that God loves and has entrusted to our care." - Rev. Joy G., Kimballton, IA 

"I am supporting this new rule from the EPA, because breathing clean air shouldn't be a "choice" or a talking point, because it is essential to our health!  What kind of country would hurt its own citizens just so polluters can have their way?  It's unconscionable and also immoral.  Clean air AND clean water shouldn't be a privilege; it's a right of every American, and every human being."  - Sandra H., Mount Joy, PA 

"For me, this issue is also very personal.  As a chronic asthmatic, clean air is not just a nice thing to have--it's a matter of life and death.  Some studies show that air pollution has increased the number of persons suffering from lung disease as well as the number of deaths due to lung disease.  Your proposal can help slow down those statistics."  - Thomas H., Tulsa, OK

"I am a working family physician and see the effects of pollution on a daily basis. I wish my job were easier - please help make it so."  - Dr. Michael H., West Hartford, CT

"When I lived in Conneaut, OH, and Ponca City, OK, power plants would release their pollutants into the air after midnight.  It made my wife and oldest son so sick we had to move from both places on doctor's orders.  That should not be allowed.  Please put our and the earth's health as top priority."  - Calvin B., Norman, OK

"As the mother of a 6-year old son, I am writing to let you know that I support lower carbon emission rates. Please make the air safer to breath for my son and my family." - Stephanie G., Carmel, IN

As a grandmother I have seen a more and more casual and careless use of energy, and disregard for the source of that energy. As the wife of someone with asthma I know the value of every breath, and as a resident of the midwest, I know that I will hear complaints from my neighbors, whose energy comes primarily from coal, and I am prepared to speak up when the opportunity arises. - Miriam W., Martin, SD

We can't sacrifice public health to cheap energy, and what is cheap?! For all the people in our country - children, adults, old person, who have trouble breathing.  My religion teaches our duty to respect and love our environment as God's creation for sustaining our lives.  It is ungodly to contaminate, and it is also bad environmental policy to sacrifice the breath of life to the greed of certain economic-driven interests.  Stop the pollution, please. - Dr. Marlene T., Worthington, OH

"I am a Christian who is a scientist by profession. As a physical chemist by training, i spent a teaching career of more than thirty years trying to teach students not only the laws by which the natural world operates but the necessity of our being good stewards of the only ever likely to be available for human habitation. (Lots of planets out there, but nature has this speed limit, you know.) I support the efforts of the EPA to maintain the environment of the home God has given us by maintaining the quality of land, water, and air necessary for our survival and that of our fellow-species on the earth."  - Dr. Charlotte W., Auburn, AL
 
 
Check back later as we add more quotes about why people of faith are supporting cleaner air! 
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