A group of 56 church-related organizations sent a joint letter to the U.S. Senate November 26, 2010 asking the Senators not to suspend the authority of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
Does this mean these religious groups no longer think God cares about the planet? The letter states:
“As communities and people of faith, we are called to protect and serve God’s great Creation and work for justice for all of God’s people. We believe that the United States must take all appropriate and available actions to prevent the worst impacts of climate change; we therefore urge you to oppose any efforts to undermine the authority of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. We have seen various challenges to the CAA this session including Senator Rockefeller’s proposal to delay regulation of greenhouse gases under the Environmental Protection Agency. We urge you to protect the Clean Air Act and allow the EPA to use the full strength of the law to ensure that God’s Creation and God’s children remain healthy.”
Yes, the Episcopal Church is part of this group which was organized by the National Council of Churches of Christ eco-justice group whose purpose is to provide an opportunity for the national bodies of member Protestant and Orthodox communions to work together to protect and restore God’s Creation.
The problem with this letter is that it is the US EPA that seeks to stretch the plain meaning of the Clean Air Act to cover CO2 and impose more stringent standards on NOx and SOx not “to ensure that God’s creation and God’s children remain healthy’ but in pursuit of a raw political agenda the Administration was unable to get Congress to pass. The action sought by Senator Rockefeller and others is designed to ensure that US EPA does to abuse its administrative discretion to do what Congress decided NOT to do.
The church should not permit itself to be used for such obvious political purposes.