Advancing to full assembly late last week in California was Senate Bill 100, historic legislation to transition California to 100% clean electricity by 2045, sending it to the full Assembly for a vote. Earlier in the day, advocates delivered more than 38,000 messages and signatures in support of the legislation from a range of stakeholders, including health and environmental advocates, clean energy industries, business communities, and environmental justice organizations.
Lobby Day on Capitol Hill doesn’t sound like a date that a university professor would circle on his calendar.
But Rick Hammer, associate professor of biology and environmental science at Hardin-Simmons University, had June 12 marked for a long time. That was the day set aside during the three-day Citizens Climate Lobby conference to meet with Congress members on Capitol Hill.
The rest of the conference, attended by about 1,200 people, was devoted to training and workshops.
The Church of the Nativity in Newport is growing. That is beans, tomatoes, squash, bok choy, melons and an assortment of other vegetables with the goal to help feed and teach Perry Countians about gardening.
The church on Second Street has expanded its community garden to about 2,000 square feet this year using money it was awarded for its environmental stewardship initiatives over the past couple years.
EAST HARWICH — A Care for Creation workshop on how to improve energy efficiency at local houses of worship will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The workshop is sponsored by Lutherans Restoring Creation and Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light.
Those attending will learn how to monitor energy use and improve electrical and HVAC systems at houses of worship, often among the biggest energy wasters, and connect with others who share a concern for the planet, according to a statement from Lutherans Restoring Creation.
On Thursday, a group of Native American and faith leaders delivered a letter signed by more than 500 clergy and faith leaders from 40 states to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke opposing weakening the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Methane and Waste Prevention Rule. Today, April 23, is the deadline for public comment on the proposal.
Methane that is leaked, vented, and flared on our shared public lands creates public health hazards, alters our climate, and wastes valuable natural gas. This letter was signed in response to the Trump administration’s recent suspension of the critical environmental safeguard.
Lisa DeVille, citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation located on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in western North Dakota, traveled to Washington to make her community’s concerns known. She said: “The Fort Berthold Indian Reservation is surrounded by nearly 1,000 oil and gas wells that make the unceasing extraction of the resources beneath our land hard to escape. The air smells like rotten eggs, the noise disrupts our lives and the gas flares make our night skies look like bright summer days.”
Rev. Susan Hendershot Guy, president of Interfaith Power & Light, said “It is important to remember that frontline communities suffer the worst impacts of methane pollution, and people of faith are called to care for the most vulnerable in our society. At the same time, we know that this standard will not only address public health issues, but create good paying jobs in communities that need them, along with royalties that will fund schools and local services.”
Methane is a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide; it traps up to 80 times more heat over a 20-year period than carbon dioxide. Venting, flaring and leaking methane from oil and gas operations is the second largest industrial contributor to climate change in the United States.
The United Church of Christ was another organization that signed onto the letter. Rev. Jason Carson Wilson, of the UCC’s Justice & Witness Ministries, joined the contingent and stated “As a person of faith, my sacred text and belief in our Creator compels me to urge our government to care for our Earth. This [methane] rule protects both God’s Creation and the health of our children.”
The letter reads, in part:
“As people of faith, we have a moral obligation to care for our land, water and air and to protect the health of our communities, and especially the children and future generations. This rule will keep an estimated 175,000 tons of methane emissions a year out of our air.
“Old Testament scripture states that before us have been set choices for life and death, ‘Choose life that you and your children might live.’ We appeal to you as an ethical leader to choose life by implementing the BLM methane rules as proposed.”
For the complete letter and a list of signatories, or to set up an interview with one of the signers, email [email protected]
Interfaith Power & Light is mobilizing a religious response to global warming in congregations through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.