Right now, the public has a golden opportunity to let its voice be heard on a key resolution that would pave the way for cleaner air in coming years. From now, until June 25th, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is gathering comments on a proposal that would limit the CO2 emissions of coal plants constructed after the new standards go into effect. No such limits exist today on the national level and the proposal would not affect existing plants or those built within the next twelve months.
Please take a moment to voice your support for these standards here, or continue reading to learn more.
According to the EPA, reducing CO2 (or carbon) emissions from coal-burning energy plants is vital for improving overall air quality because, as the EPA puts it, “Power plants are the largest individual sources of carbon pollution in the United States…” Limiting CO2 emissions is important because, in addition to rising smog levels in urban centers and the need for Ozone Action Days to protect the public, mounting evidence links increased CO2 levels to the destructive effects of climate change and a number of health-related threats (asthma, heart disease, and other respiratory complications to name a few).
Given these dangers, the moral dimensions of today’s energy choices are apparent. Decisions made today will affect future generations, the health and wellbeing of other species, and life on this planet as a whole.
Drawing inspiration from differing sacred traditions, our faiths share common themes of responsible stewardship, compassion for the defenseless, and voluntary restraint from excessive consumption. Along with these, our faiths support the pursuit of justice, respect for the dignity of others, and a sense of shared responsibility within our communities. All of these come into play when considering the caustic potential of unchecked emission limits.
Grounded in the teachings of our various traditions, we recognize the need to make ecologically prudent choices for the protection of all, even when this means sacrificing what may come easiest or cheapest. If you agree, please voice your support by signing the above petition.
To view a quick fact sheet published by the EPA, click here.
To read the entire proposal, click here.