WASHINGTON (CNS) — Citing a moral obligation to care for the natural world and all inhabitants of the earth, 30 Catholic and faith-based institutions filed an amicus brief with a federal appeals court in support of the Clean Power Plan.
The brief argues that the Environmental Protection Agency has the duty to protect human health from harmful pollution in ways outlined in the plan, which establishes federal limits on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.
The brief said evidence of the human cause of climate change is “undeniable.”
“We face a moral imperative to protect the earth and all its inhabitants from a climate crisis of our own making,” the brief said.
The document called the rule “a compromise position” and said the EPA could have demanded “greater and earlier reductions.”
The filers “support EPA’s diligent effort and agree that the rule is an essential part of fulfilling our collective obligation to curtail climate change,” the brief said. “It is an important step, but it is hardly the radical leap that petitioners portray. In fact, the court should recognize that there is a valid argument to be made that the urgency of the problem demands more aggressive action.”
The filing came April 1 in the case of West Virginia, et al., v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for June 2 in front of a three-judge panel.
The regulation gives states broad authority in determining how to reduce power plant greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
The emission reduction plan has been challenged in court by 27 states and the coal and power industry, all of whom argue that the EPA plan goes beyond the authority granted in the Clean Air Act.
Lonnie Ellis, associate director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, the lead filer of the brief, told Catholic News Service that the EPA plan is a vital step to slowing climate change.
“After ‘Laudato Si” and after the papal visit to the White House, where Pope Francis praised this specific effort to address climate change, we felt we needed to speak up,” Ellis said.
“This is such a large and urgent problem that we absolutely need to start taking action. We have a moral obligation to the people around the world.”
Ellis pointed to the efforts already underway in states supporting and opposing the plan to implement regulations that would limit greenhouse gas emissions, which point to the importance of the EPA rule.
“This is an incremental step,” he explained. “It is not a huge move to do these actions. States are already moving in this direction. The energy sector is already moving in this direction. This is really incremental.”
Joining the brief were Catholic Rural Life, nine orders of women religious and the dioceses of Des Moines, Iowa, Davenport, Iowa, and Stockton, California, where church leaders have taken action to reduce fossil fuel usage and promoted the installation of alternative energy systems at parish facilities. Other institutions in the effort include Fordham University, University of San Francisco, University of San Diego, College of the Holy Cross, National Council of Churches USA, Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and National Baptist Convention of America.
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, welcomed the plan when it was introduced in August. He called it “an important step forward to protect the health of all people, especially children, the elderly and poor and vulnerable communities, from harmful pollution and the impacts of climate change.”
While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a member of the Catholic Climate Covenant, it is not among the filers of the brief because it limits its legal involvement to U.S. Supreme Court cases.
In addition, 18 state attorneys general, the District of Columbia, National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, more than 50 local governments, 200 current and former members of Congress and tech companies Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft are among the entities that have filed amicus briefs in support of the rules.
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To state that, “…evidence of the human cause of climate change is undeniable,” is an absolute lie. This scam, climate change, which by the way, has gone by various other names, such as global cooling, global warming, and climate disruption, will cause much harm to our economy, but more importantly, will cause much harm for the poor of the world.
Climate change is normal and has been occurring since the formation of earth. Over the past 18 years there has been no global increase in temperature yet CO2, the supposed cause of global warming, has increased significantly. In the past 2000 years there have been 2 warming periods none of which can be attributed to man or CO2.
The USCCB, along with Pope Francis, have abandoned the true issues facing the church such as abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, for the very popular progressive issues of the environment, illegal immigration, and capital punishment.
Why is the Church involving itself in worldly myths and naively supporting actions that are morally irresponsible and contradictory?
To support further EPA mandates that will cripple the coal industry and likely put most coal companies out of business is “an important step forward to protect the health of all people, especially children, the elderly and poor and vulnerable communities, from harmful pollution and the impacts of climate change” is not true. There is not one shred of evidence to support any of these doomsday scenarios. The reality is that worldwide life expectancy has been increasing constantly year after year. This in spite of the supposed harmful pollution and climate change impacts that we are told to believe on faith?
More importantly what does this action have to do with helping people to lead holier lives and to lead them to heaven, which is Christ’s mandate to the Church? The truth is that it has nothing to do with Christ’s salvation command, yet the Church seems oblivious to this moral contradiction. Why?
Lastly, how can the Church be for helping the socially and economically disenfranchised while at the same time supporting actions that will create new socially and economically disenfranchised conditions? That will cause enormous economic and human hardships, misery, and personal tragedies for untold thousands of good honest hard working people, families, and economies in coal mining areas? Thousands and thousands of people who will loose their jobs, thriving towns and businesses turned into ghettos and shuttered buildings, and proud independent people who will be degraded and turned into beggars.
What has happened to the Church’s moral compass and sense of moral priorities?
When the world is back living in stone age conditions we can thank those who brought it about through the false god of climate change. There are millions of people who died well before their time thanks to Rachael Carson’s erroneous take on DDT. To do something really worthwhile for mankind put an absolute end to abortion and sodomy.