Dear Senator Donnelly and Governor Pence,
We are deeply saddened by your recent comments and actions regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. This landmark plan, crafted over the past year after receiving millions of public comments, aims to reduce carbon and particulate air pollution. Meeting the standards set forth in the Clean Power Plan would also ultimately reduce premature deaths and serious health disorders such as heart attacks and asthma caused by polluted air, while lowering utility bills for households.
As Hoosiers of Faith, we urge that you reconsider your previous comments and actions and help lead Indiana into a new era of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and improved public health.
Rev. Dr. Patricia Tull, a resident of Jeffersonville, Indiana, recently stated, “Our religious traditions teach us that the Creator made the world in love and expects us to care for it. Cleaning up the air that children breathe, and sustaining the earth’s health for our descendants, are this generation’s version of the social ethics we have been learning and living for centuries.” The Clean Power Plan would help do so. Rejecting the Clean Power Plan at a time when action is needed violates the teachings of our shared religious traditions.
Just weeks ago in his encyclical, Laudato Si’ (“On Care for Our Common Home”), Pope Francis proclaimed that personal responsibility is an important step toward reversing our environmental desecration, but that political and structural transformations are needed for lasting change. He wrote, “Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies.” The Clean Power Plan helps create the political and structural transformation needed to protect God's creation.
Policy analysis of the Clean Power Plan also show many important economic benefits for Indiana and the nation. This includes creating up to 274,000 efficiency-related jobs, saving billions of dollars in medical costs, and maintaining a more reliable electrical supply. For every dollar invested through the Clean Power Plan, American families will see up to seven dollars in health benefits from the soot and smog reductions alone.
As people of faith, we strongly believe that the Clean Power Plan is moral and right for Indiana. We pray that you will support this ambitious and much-needed opportunity to better care for creation in our beloved state.