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Dear MIP&L members and friends,
The nomination of Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA is scheduled for a committee vote on Wednesday February 1st. Sen. Edward Markey, wrote to us saying, "The United States does not need federal agency leaders who would drag us back to 19th century dirty energy sources and try to stop our 21st century clean energy revolution. I will vigorously oppose Scott Pruitt's nomination." Listen to Sen. Markey's remarks.
MA IP&L has signed on to letters sent by the National Religious Partnership on the Environment, (NRPE) and the Environmental League of Massachusetts opposing Pruitt's nomination. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, "Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has sued 14 times to block clean air and water safeguards from EPA, the agency he has been nominated to lead. New research shows that in every suit except one, at least one of Pruitt's co-litigators contributed to Pruitt's campaign or a political action committee affiliated with Pruitt – directly, or via an employee or member.
Those suits included 3 suits filed by Oklahoma against the Clean Power Plan before the rule was even published. All of them were rejected as premature. The Clean Power Plan establishes targets that gradually reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants. He also sued to block carbon pollution standards for new, modified and reconstructed power plants. Power plants account for 40% of total U.S. carbon pollution.
In 2014, a natural gas company called Devon Energy gave $125,000 to the Republican Attorneys General Association, (RAGA), a political organization Pruitt had led and at which he remained an executive. Two days later, Pruitt wrote a letter to the EPA objecting to the agency's proposal to study the impact of fracking on public health and air quality.
In 2016, Exxon Mobil made a donation of $50,000 to RAGA, the same political group. A month later, Pruitt wrote a newspaper op-ed publicly attacking efforts to investigate whether Exxon deliberately misled investors and the public despite internal research confirming that climate change is real. Pruitt wrote in a 2016 article in the National Review that "Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress."
The NY Times reported that ".... Senate Democrats pressed Mr. Pruitt to recuse himself from regulatory decisions on cases he has filed against the agency, including the Clean Power Plan.
"What the American people are expecting here is that the E.P.A. doesn't turn into every polluters' ally," said Senator Edward J. Markey. ... "The only way to do that is for you to recuse yourself from every case you brought.
"Mr. Pruitt responded that the E.P.A.'s ethics counsel had advised him that he must recuse himself from cases in which he had a role as plaintiff, if they were filed within a year of the time he would review them as E.P.A. administrator. But he would not commit to recusing himself from all the cases he had brought."
To hear Pruitt's testimony click here.
The vote by the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works is scheduled for February 1st with a vote by the full Senate expected the week of February 6th. Committee members include Sen. Markey, Sen. Sanders of VT, Sen. Whitehouse of RI, Sen. Gillibrand of NY and Sen. Booker of NJ. Click here for the full committee membership.
Call your senators today at:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Washington D.C.: (202) 224-4543
Boston: (617) 565-3170; Springfield: (413) 788-2690
Sen. Edward Markey
Washington, D.C.: 202-224-2742
Boston: (617) 565-8519; Springfield: (413) 785-4610
Would your congregation like to decrease your use of fossil fuels and the contribution they make to global warming? Lower your utility bills to free up funds for mission & other needs?
South Church in Andover is hosting this half-day session at which you'll learn:
When: Sun. Feb. 12th 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Where: South Church, Andover, 41 Central Street, Andover MA 01810
To register online for the workshop click here.
Members of all faiths are welcome to attend!
The fee to attend is $20 payable online by credit card, or in-person by check. Light refreshments are included. Sponsored by the MA Conference of the UCC.
For more information contact Vince Maraventano at vince@MIPandL.org or 617-244-0755.
Many MA IP&L members have attended our Sustainable House of Worship (SHOW) workshop and taken basic energy efficiency actions: lighting upgrades, programmable thermostats, heating system upgrades. Many other actions, especially when it comes to improving the building envelope, require deeper knowledge and thoughtful planning.
MA IP&L is partnering with building science experts from DEAP Energy Group to launch this all day workshop to help our members gain more sophisticated technical analysis and long-term planning skills. Attendees will gain hands-on experience in drafting a step-by-step plan to dramatically lower carbon footprint and costs while executing the upgrades within budget and organizational constraints. Prior SHOW attendance is not required.
The workshop will be hosted by All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore, 46 Cherry Street, Danvers. There is no charge for this inaugural workshop.
More information and registration are here: http://bit.ly/EnergyPlanDanvers
Creation is in peril. Climate change is accelerating between 100 and 1,000 times faster than ever. The indifference to this threat by national leaders calls upon people of faith to become leaders in our congregations and communities. We need leaders with the vision and skill to be catalysts for change. This experiential and relational program will cover the ethical, psychological and practical realities that leaders need to understand and to negotiate.
When: Saturday 3/18, 3/25, 4/1 & 4/8 from 1 PM to 5 PM
Where: Bethel AME Church, 40 Walk Hill St., Boston, MA 02130,
Embassy Room, Youth Center. Enter from Wachusett St.
All faiths welcomed.
2 Participants from each congregation recommended. (No more than 3)
A light meal will be served. No fee. Registration limited and available on first come first serve basis.
Register today at: http://conta.cc/2kIahUg
Convenient to MBTA Orange line Forest Hills station and buses.
For more information: Vince Maraventano at vince@MIPandL.org or 617-244-0755. Sponsored by MA Interfaith Power & Light & The Better Future Project
Bills that put a price on carbon pollution via a fee-and-rebate approach have been introduced in both the House and Senate this session. February 3 is the deadline for co-sponsoring House bills. The bills are:
Worldwide support: Experts worldwide agree that carbon pricing is the most cost-effective means of achieving the deep cuts that are necessary to protect our climate from the pollution created by burning fossil fuels. The northeast U.S., including Massachusetts, already imposes such a fee on carbon pollution from power plants, but currently the transportation and heating fuel sectors are not covered.
The new MA bills take similar approaches: Both bills use fees on fossil fuels as a means to encourage both energy suppliers and consumers to reduce their reliance on these fuels, moving to local energy efficiency and clean energy sources instead.
Both bills return a high fraction of the money to households, particularly those with low- and moderate incomes, and to employers, via rebates, in order to protect living standards and business competitiveness. In SD.1021 carbon pollution fees start at $10/ton of CO2, while in HD.1504 they start at $20/ton. Both bills raise the price $5 a year until it hits $40/ton, stopping there. These gradual increases allow employees and households to plan ahead, including time to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Please urge your representatives and senators to co-sponsor these bills.
To learn who your representative and senator are go to: https://malegislature.gov
To learn who supported carbon fee and rebate in the last session click here.
Governor Baker released his $40.5 billion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018, which begins on July 1. According to the Environmental League of MA "The Governor's budget takes a small step in the right direction of restoring funding to environmental protection and climate change, but does not make a meaningful dent in years of underinvestment ..."
Looking deeply into our sources of hope can sustain our efforts to renew the web of life and to create a more just society. This retreat will explore a framework for the heart to help us become healers filled with compassion, energy, and hope.
The retreat will include presentations, guided meditation, singing, silence, and conversation. Led by a Christian who honors the deep wisdom of every religious tradition, the retreat is open to people of all faiths and none. Everyone is welcome.
The retreat is free and open to the public. Free-will donations gladly accepted.
Please Pre-register here.
On Inauguration Day, 50 people from different faiths and states gathered together on a conference call to pray for the new administration, that it may protect Creation and ensure a sustainable future for our children. They also prayed for themselves as guardians of our common home. The vigil was co-sponsored by MA IP&L and the Global Catholic Climate Movement.
Among the prayers said was a Prayer for Leadership adapted from a prayer by Joan Chittister.
May the gift of leadership awaken in you as a vocation,
Keep you mindful of the providence that calls you to serve.
As high over the mountains the eagle spreads its wings,
May your perspective be larger than the view from the foothills.
When the way is flat and dull in times of grey endurance,
May your imagination continue to evoke horizons.
When thirst burns in times of drought,
May you be blessed to find the wells.
May you have the wisdom to read time clearly
and know when the seed of change will flourish.
In your heart may there be a sanctuary
For the stillness where clarity is born.
May your work be infused with passion and creativity
And have the wisdom to balance compassion and challenge.
May your soul find the graciousness
To rise above the fester of small mediocrities.
May your power never become a shell
wherein our heart would silently atrophy.
May you welcome your own vulnerability
as the ground where healing and truth join.
May the integrity of soul be your first ideal,
the source that will guide and bless your work.
Click here to listen to O'Donohue read this prayer.
Mass. Interfaith Power & Light provides a faith based response to global warming by helping people and faith communities to lower their carbon footprints and by advocating for public policies that fulfill our moral responsibility to create a sustainable future.
Please help us carry out this critical mission by going to www.MIPandL.org, clicking on the DONATE button and making a secure, fully tax deductible donation.
Peace and blessings,
Your friends at MIP&L