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Faith leaders applaud carbon pollution rule


Carbon rule would result in a healthier Creation and healthier communities

with no added financial burden to consumers, supporters say


Washington, May 24, 2012 – Religious leaders from Christian and Jewish communities spoke in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed carbon pollution rule today at hearings in Washington and Chicago.


The proposed rule would require new power plants to meet a set standard for the amount of carbon they emit when producing energy. The standard will improve the health of God’s Creation and the health of our communities without any increase in the cost of electricity, supporters say.

"If we fail to preserve and protect this world – our only world - by failing to address rising levels of carbon pollution, we betray our responsibility to one another and to future generations," said Barabara Weinstein, Legislative Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Weinstein was also testifying on behalf of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL).

Carbon dioxide is one of the key greenhouse gases causing global climate change which includes warmer temperatures, more natural disasters and more frequent floods and droughts which affect food production around the world.

“As people of faith, we are called to serve as stewards of God’s good creation and to seek justice for those who are hungry, poor, or marginalized," said Mikka McCracken of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Hunger Program.


McCracken, who also represented the National Council of Churches, said, "We know that climate change has already begun to affect agriculture in the US and around the world, endangering food security for the people of our nation and all members of the global family. Lutherans care and Lutherans make a difference. With [The EPA's] systemic level help to enact rules that will reduce carbon emissions, we can do more -- together."

Studies show that carbon pollution can be linked to an increased mortality rate and disproportionate health impacts in the African American community and other communities of color. Asthma and other respiratory problems are three times as likely to plague and even kill African Americans.

The Rev. Dr. Mari Castellanos of the United Church of Christ made it clear that "Climate change is having enormous impact on Creation – the very Creation that God declared ‘good’; the very Creation that we depend on to live life here on Earth; the very Creation that is a gift of God, not only to us humans, but to all the creatures of the Earth."

With a shared message of improving the health and well-being of all of God’s Creation, the religious leaders urged the EPA to maintain the strength and effectiveness of the proposed standard.


Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 40 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell),


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