On February 9, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. Announced in August 2015, the plan is designed to create a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels within the power sector (primarily coal-fired plants) by 2030. States must comply by 2022, and the first deadline for individual plans (September 2016) is now delayed by the stay. The National Catholic Reporter details the implications of the stay and the potential impacts of Justice Antonin Scalia's death just four days after the decision.
This Monday, February 15, a coalition of religious organizations, including the Unitarian Universalist Association and Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth, sent the following letter to Congress and the Administration on the Supreme Court's decision to stay the Clean Power Plan.
Religious community’s statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the Clean Power Plan
We are disappointed by last week’s 5-4 Supreme Court decision to stay the implementation of the Clean Power Plan. As religious organizations, we are deeply concerned with protecting the health and well-being of vulnerable communities and God’s Creation. The Clean Power Plan was designed to allow states the greatest flexibility in implementation, while benefiting the health of all peoples by improving the quality of the air we breathe.
As religious organizations we strive to be stewards of the earth that God has gifted us and will continue to promote environmental stewardship. U.S. leadership toward a clean energy future is vital. Many organizations in the electricity sector have already began to shift towards a safer, cleaner energy future. In addition, many states have already begun to work on compliance with the Clean Power Plan. We call on them to continue this work and urge all local, state and national policymakers to join efforts to reduce dangerous carbon pollution and protect the health and wellbeing of all creation. We hope and pray that all states around the nation will continue their efforts to implement a clean energy future, for the well-being of present and future generations.
The Office of Social Justice, Christian Reformed Church in North America
Church World Service
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Advocacy Office
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Interfaith Power & Light
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Maryknoll Sisters Eastern and Western Regions USA
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth