On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review and possibly repeal the Clean Power Plan and carbon pollution standards for new power plants. The executive order takes aim at several important climate change protections intended to safeguard God’s creation and public health.
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), said of the executive order, “As Disciples, we are committed to bringing wholeness to a fragmented world. This recent executive order will do the opposite. Failure to care for our climate harms the most vulnerable among us — children, older adults, people who don’t have the luxury of being able to move away from pollution, and those suffering from respiratory and other illnesses. I call upon the Administration to re-examine its actions and to remain true to its stated commitment of protecting clean air.”
Carbon dioxide emissions from power plants account much of the carbon pollution in the United States. Christian communities are on the front lines of facing their impacts. Some Disciples congregations and ministries are located near power plants, and those communities face higher asthma and cancer rates. Disaster relief ministries are also facing challenges of rising floodwaters, severe droughts, more wildfires, and harsher storms. We have a moral obligation to implement measures and care for communities that are most impacted by harmful carbon dioxide emissions.
Rev. Carol Devine, Green Chalice ministry, spoke of this moment with urgency: “Rolling back these vital protections for God’s creation and vulnerable communities without any new plan is irresponsible. As a nation, this is our chance to rise to the challenge and protect the gifts of God’s creation for our children and grandchildren. The challenge is truly immense, but so is our faith in humanity’s God-given capacity to innovate and organize for a better future.”
For more from other faith groups, go to Creation Justice Ministries.