For Immediate Release: January 19, 2021
Interfaith Power & Light calls for Confirmation of Biden’s Climate, Interior, and EPA nominees
Oakland, CA– Interfaith Power & Light and its state affiliates expressed strong support for President-elect Biden’s choices for key climate and environmental positions, and called for swift confirmation. These nominees will ensure that justice and equity are front and center and science and expertise prevail in these key roles and agencies in the federal government.
Specifically, our experience with Gina McCarthy, who Biden has tapped to head a new White House Office of Climate Policy, Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico for Interior Secretary, Secretary Michael Regan for EPA Administrator, Janet McCabe for Deputy EPA Administrator, and former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary give us confidence that they are the right people to advance climate justice in the new administration.
In response, Interfaith Power & Light and Interfaith Power & Light state affiliates have released these statements:
“Gina McCarthy brings a strong track record of advancing climate justice, clean air, and protecting human health as US EPA administrator in the Obama administration. Her experience and expertise, her understanding of the urgency of acting on climate, as well as her strong personal faith, give us confidence that she will be invaluable in developing and implementing the new administration’s climate strategy.” — Rev. Susan Hendershot, President, Interfaith Power & Light
“People of faith in New Mexico are grateful for the nomination of Representative Haaland as Secretary of Interior. She has been working on climate change efforts in New Mexico and will continue to do so as Secretary of Interior. It is so important to have an Indigenous woman to stand for the sacredness of land, water, air and communities. We hope this will lead us as a nation into a more just way into the future.” — Sister Joan Brown, osf, Executive Director, NM Interfaith Power and Light.
“Michael Regan is a faithful family man deeply committed to science-based environmental stewardship to protect all communities. In his role as NC DEQ Secretary, Michael Regan created the Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board with a scope to assist the agency in achieving and maintaining the fair and equal treatment and meaningful involvement of North Carolinians regardless of where they live, their race, religion or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Michael Regan’s consistent engagement between communities, industry, and the government will ensure the protection of human health and the environment.” — Susannah Tuttle,MDiv., Director – NC Interfaith Power & Light, a program of the North Carolina Council of Churches
“Secretary Vilsack has long advocated for justice, science, and smart public policy. He often speaks publicly in words and with values grounded in his own Christian faith. He is politically really well prepared to help rural America lead in implementing the Biden Harris administration’s four priorities: a public health response to COVID-19, the movement for racial justice, rebuilding our economy around economic justice, and taking climate action. USDA leadership and programs and of course rural communities are critical to helping solve all four of these challenges. I’ve known Secretary Vilsack for over 20 years and he is the right leader to unleash the power of rural Americans to be the change our world so desperately needs.” —Matt Russell, executive director Iowa Interfaith Power & Light and 5th generation Iowa farmer
“Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light folks couldn’t be more pleased that our own Janet McCabe is going to be back in her old job of Deputy Administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency where she was instrumental in developing the Clean Power Plan. Her deep values of honesty, trustworthiness, social responsibility, and environmental justice are just what we need now.” —-Ray Wilson, Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light board chair
Interfaith Power & Light is a national nonprofit organization with 40 state affiliates and 22,000 congregations in all 50 states. IPL inspires and mobilizes people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change.