Hoosiers of Faith Support EPA’s Clean Power Plan
INDIANAPOLIS –Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light leaders today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) for finalizing the first-ever limits on dangerous carbon pollution from power plants. These historic standards will protect God’s creation and the health of families and communities across Indiana by reducing carbon pollution and other toxic emissions from local power plants
“Our religious traditions teach us that the Creator made the world in love and expects us to care for it,” said the Rev. Dr. Patricia K. Tull, a biblical scholar and former seminary professor who serves as Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light’s (H-IPL’s) program director. “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 EPA Clean Power Plan is an unprecedented opportunity for America to lead and inspire the world in future-saving carbon reductions, ahead of the Paris climate talks,”said the Rev. T. Wyatt Watkins, pastor of First Cumberland Baptist Church, who chairs the Eastside Creation Care Network and serves on the H-IPL board. “As a major carbon polluter, Indiana has a critical role to play in ensuring the gains to health and climate this plan envisions.”
Until now, power plants could dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air, endangering the health of millions of Americans and threatening the stability of our climate.
U.S. EPA has been listening to Americans over the past year as the agency finalized the nationwide Clean Power Plan. The plan 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 a retired pastor who feels compelled to help care for God's good creation, and as a grandfather who cares about the future of his grandchildren, I can only applaud the EPA's Clean Power Plan,”said the Rev. Dennis Shock, H-IPL's advocacy chairperson. “The CPP is very achievable for Indiana and will lead to a healthier planet for all of God’s creatures.”
Despite widespread and deep popular support in Indiana for reducing dangerous carbon pollution, Gov. Mike Pence has vowed to resist it. If Indiana doesn’t submit its own implementation plan, it will be made part of a federal plan with less flexibility.
Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light celebrates the Clean Power Plan and urges Gov. Pence and state officials to listen to the voice of citizens. “Helping people deal with the looming climate crisis requires empathy from our leaders and timely, effective actions,” said the Rev. Bruce Russell-Jayne, a retired pastor and H-IPL treasurer. “I implore Governor Pence to submit a plan for reducing Indiana’s carbon pollution.”
“Indiana leaders who routinely clamor for state’s rights should seize upon EPA’s invitation to Hoosiers to find our own homegrown solutions to targeted emissions cuts, energy efficiency and a green economy,”said Rev. Watkins. “Cynical and shortsighted obstruction flouts the decisive weight of this historic moment. For the sake of health, economic wellbeing and our very survival, Hoosier leaders must lead!”
Dr. Allan Edmonds, a retired IU professor, and Molly O’Donnell, a LEED-accredited Green Building professional, together co-chair Earth Care Bloomington, a H-IPL affiliate.
“We pay for our state’s burning of coal now with our health and will continue to pay in the future with the effect of carbon dioxide on the Earth’s climate,” Edmonds said.
“Energy conservation, coupled with renewable energy, will help keep our electricity costs down by eliminating the need for more power plants. And building and installing solar and wind will create jobs,” O’Donnell said.
Since its inception in 2011, Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light (H-IPL) has been working with churches, synagogues, and mosques across Indiana to reduce electricity and gas use in both worship buildings and homes by 20, 30, and even 50 percent, not in fifteen years but in two or three.
Through its Task of the Month program, H-IPL helps individuals change basic systems at home to save on lighting, heating, and cooling. Through our Using Energy Prudently workshops we teach members how to make these same dramatic changes in sanctuaries and office spaces. H-IPL has also helped congregations install solars panels to boost energy independence still further.