Today, The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) submitted 67,755 Comments from Christians to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of the “Clean Trucks Standard.”
This guest blog by creative writer and conservation biologist Betsy Painter introduces and explores the concept behind her new book: "A Christian's Guide to Planet Earth."
With the final publication of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) rule on April 23, the table is set for Pennsylvania to start accruing proceeds that could amount to over $200 million every single quarter. It is well past time to move beyond partisan games and to work together for a new, vibrant, bipartisan energy economy for all Pennsylvanians.
The following is the written testimony of EEN President and CEO Rev. Mitch Hescox from the EPA Public Hearing on the Ozone Transport Rule held on April 21, 2022
A thought-provoking parable about our role in stewarding God's creation.
In this guest blog, Nate Pyle, pastor of Christ’s Community Church in Fishers, Indiana, explores and reflects on his journey from meeting God in creation to answering the biblical call to care for creation.
The over 50,000 pro-life Christians who have acted in support of Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) thank Pennsylvania Representatives Mehaffie (R, 106), Stephens (R, 151), and Thomas (178) for voting against HB 637. Our community appreciates your decision to defend our children’s health and build a clean energy economy with family-sustaining jobs for all by reducing carbon emissions and other pollutants.
The legacy of orphaned oil and gas wells and abandoned mine lands has left behind a frightening bequest of toxic air and fouled water. And it is we the people who are left paying the cost of this scarred legacy – not only in taxpayer dollars but with our health and safety. It is time to incentivize the well-being of our children instead of the fossil fuel industry. And it is past time for the American taxpayer to stop footing the bill to clean up the fossil fuel industry’s messes.
While Putin’s war on Ukraine may rage an ocean away, skyrocketing gas prices have brought it to America’s doorstep. Increased gasoline prices touch every corner of our economy, impacting us all. However, amid our real fears about energy prices, we must remember that Putin’s war has far more grave consequences. It’s time for Christians to remember our calling to be peacemakers.
The following is the written testimony of EEN President and CEO Rev. Mitch Hescox from the EPA Public Hearing on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) held on February 24, 2022.
Farmers, ranchers, and foresters are among the most dedicated stewards of God’s creation. We applaud the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new “Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities” pilot program that will better empower them to put climate-smart conservation practices into action on their land.
As a child growing up in the tiny village of Blandburg, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, where my playgrounds were un-reclaimed coal strip mines less than 75 yards from our backdoor, I am pleased to see today’s announcement regarding the Department of the Interior releasing $725 million first funds of the $11.3 billion funds authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
There’s a wonderful sense of justice following EPA Administrator Regan’s announcement of a new proposal to reinstate the “appropriate and necessary finding” for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard foolishly removed by the Trump Administration. The EEN community will work to ensure that MATS is reinstated as quickly as possible to defend our children from the debilitating harms of mercury poisoning and toxic air pollution. No child should have their life potential cut short.
The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) will submit 133,242 comments from individual pro-life Christians in support of and with calls to strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rulemaking for Existing and New Sources Standards For Reducing Methane and Toxins From the Oil/Gas Sector (Docket #EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0317).
In November 2021, Olivet Nazarene University completed the installation of 3,124 solar panels on two campus buildings. The panels, provided through a partnership with SunVest Solar, produce a maximum of 1 million watts (megawatts) of electricity during peak sunlight and are estimated to produce about 1,250,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
The Evangelical Environmental Network, along with over 30,500 pro-life Christians who submitted comments supporting Pennsylvania joining the Regional Green House Gas Initiative, is thankful to Governor Wolf for vetoing the General Assembly’s ill-advised S.C.R.R.R. 1 that would have severely cost our state by denying RGGI membership.
This Christmas and throughout the coming year, I have hope that in the Church we will begin to see a great revival. This new revival will be of true evangelism, the Good News, of the God we know best in Jesus. It’s the Good News of our God who casts out fear in His Love and seeks His peace through justice and righteousness for all people and all creation.
Even with historic progress, a significant gap remains between reality and the healthy and secure future our children and communities truly deserve. For this reason, we are extremely disappointed in Senator Manchin’s announcement that he is stepping away from negotiations on the Build Back Better Act.
The EPA's new tailpipe emissions standards mean we can all breathe easier and get where we need to with less pollution.
On December 15, 2021, Republicans in the Pennsylvania House voted to approve a joint resolution to deny the Independent Regulatory Review Commission’s vote earlier this year affirming that joining The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is appropriate and necessary. While disappointing, it not unexpected, as our Legislature has—unfortunately—been consistently supporting the fossil fuel industry over our children’s health and the lives of those affected by the pollution the industry generates.
In this critical decade where every action matters, EEN applauds the Biden Administration’s executive order directing the federal government to lead by example by protecting God’s creation and securing a safe climate and healthy environment for our children and all Americans.
Now is the time to exercise sound fiscal responsibility through good economic and environmental stewardship. It’s time to defend our children’s health and future and to stop wasting taxpayer money by cleaning up the fossil fuels legacy of literally dumping the costs on all of us.
A Statement on Pennsylvania's Finalized Air Quality Standard for the Control of VOC Emissions from Oil and Natural Gas Sources.
This standard will be presented to PA DEP’s Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee on Thursday December 9, 2021
The following is the written testimony of Rev. Mitchell Hescox from the EPA Oil and Gas Public Hearing held on November 30, 2021.
57,000 pro-life Christians signed the Evangelical Environmental Network’s (EEN) petition calling for the protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Arctic Refuge is a sacred place, and pro-life Christians know that ongoing attempts to open the land to oil and gas drilling is an affront to God’s creation and the Indigenous sovereignty of the Gwich’in people.
With today’s passage of the Build Back Better Act in the House of Representatives, we are one step closer to giving our children a bright and healthy future that we can be proud to pass down. As Evangelical Christians with a special care for the unborn, we especially celebrate the expanded policies for defending children’s health.
EEN celebrates the signing of the landmark bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law today by President Biden because it is good news for our children’s health, our communities’ safety, and the financial wellbeing of our families and the economy. This historic bill, however, must only be the beginning for bold bipartisan climate action. In a time of sharp political division, this bill shows that Congress can come together against the odds to do what’s right for our country and our children’s future. It also shows that climate action can and must continue to be bipartisan.
EEN applauds the House of Representatives for coming together to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The historic investments in this bill will have immediate impact defending our children’s health, restoring God’s creation, and setting us on the path to a clean energy future fueled by family-sustaining jobs for American workers across all corners of the country.
Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released two proposed standards for methane pollution from both new and existing sources in the oil and gas industry. We at the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) applaud this positive leadership from the EPA that is estimated to accomplish 74% reductions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. For the sake of our children’s health, we are extremely excited that these new standards target emissions levels directly, rather than production levels, to determine leak and inspection parameters. This effectively rewards responsible firms that work to keep emissions low, while holding marginal and low-producing wells—which have been, in many cases, the worst offenders for harmful emissions—accountable to clean up their messes.
Today’s announcement by President Biden on the Build Back Better (BBB) Framework is good news. The historic $555 billion investment in climate action lays a sound foundation for continuing the fight to defend God’s children at home and around the world.
EEN is very troubled by the Pennsylvania Senate’s vote today to approve Senate Concurrent Regulatory
Review Resolution 1, a resolution disapproving the the CO2 Budget Trading Program which has been
approved by multiple committees of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as well as the
state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). This action, an attempt to stop Pennsylvania from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), puts politics ahead of the health, safety, and future of Pennsylvania citizens, particularly our children.
EEN celebrates President Biden's decision to listen to the majority of Americans and restore the previous boundaries to Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monuments.
Asthma, preterm labor, and other respiratory illnesses are all preventable epidemics that Americans have suffered under for far too long. Our children are in danger every day that vehicle pollution continues to choke their air.
Yesterday, Pennsylvania took a crucial step to join a regional initiative to cut carbon emissions and defend our children’s health. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) voted to approve the regulation that will link Pennsylvania to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
While the IPCC report confirmed our greatest concerns about climate change, there is hope if we act now. The IPCC has provided reputable information on climate for the past 30 years, informing us of its risks, severity, and arrival. This most recent report represents eight years of work from 234 authors and includes 14,000 citations to other scientific reports. We lament that humanity has squandered opportunities to act on the IPCC’s warnings sooner. We must not let this happen again.
Today, the U.S. Senate passed a historic bipartisan infrastructure plan. EEN applauds the bipartisan collaboration on one of the most significant climate policies ever, representing the largest investment in history in clean energy transmission and electric vehicle infrastructure.
Moments ago, the U.S. Senate voted to proceed with debate on a historic bipartisan infrastructure plan. The plan represents a major investment in America’s roads, bridges, water lines, ports, and internet connections. It is also one of the most significant climate policies ever, representing the largest investment in history in clean energy transmission and electric vehicle infrastructure.
Congratulations to Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) for the introduction of The Energy Sector Innovation Credit (ESIC) legislation.
The Evangelical Environmental Network applauds Senator Bob Casey (D, PA) for Revitalizing the Civilian Conservation Corps proposal and yesterday's introduction of the Restore Environmental Vitality and Improve Volatile Economy (REVIVE) by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Act. The Bible reminds us that “the land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants. Throughout the land that you hold, you shall provide for the redemption of the land,” (Leviticus 25:23-24, NRSV).
Today marks the 1-year anniversary of the revelation of the $61 million bribery and racketeering scandal surrounding House Bill 6 (HB 6). This law removed all energy efficiency standards, slashed renewable energy standards, and continues to provide a bailout for two coal plants built in the 1950s (one of which is out of state). Ohio legislators continue to let this $61 million bribe determine the state’s energy present and dictate the state’s energy future.
The Evangelical Environment Network (EEN) applauds Chair Joe Manchin, his energy staff, and Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) for their bipartisan support in advancing the almost $100 billion energy infrastructure package yesterday.
The Evangelical Environmental Network applauds the Pennsylvania Department of Environment of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Environmental Quality Board’s (EQB) vote today to approve a rulemaking authorizing Pennsylvania to take part in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
We are thankful for co-sponsors Representatives Diana DeGette of Colorado, Scott Peters of California, and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania for their leadership in introducing the Methane Congressional Review Act to end the Trump Administration attack on our children. And a special thank you to the 12 Republican members who put life before party lines.
The Evangelical Environment Network, our Board of Directors, millions of our followers–many of whom are farmers, and the 80 members of Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance all joined together to support this bill that provides farmers, rangers, and foresters a voluntary standard to sequester carbon and make money for doing what’s right.
Since the earliest biblical record (Genesis 2:15), Christians have been called to tend and care for God’s creation. Many of our nation’s farmers are practicing Christians who believe in this biblical calling but have found it difficult with falling incomes and low crop prices. The Growing Climate Solutions Act provides a way for the agriculture community–especially family farms–to increase income, enrich the soil, sequester carbon, and empower American farmers as part of the climate solution. The Growing Climate Solutions Act sets up a Verifier Certification Program providing a uniform carbon measuring method that ensures farmers a fair price and an accountable carbon market.
Rep. John Curtis (UT-03) announced today the launch of the Conservative Climate Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. The goal of the caucus, according to Curtis, is to create a space for Republican lawmakers to educate each other on conservative policy solutions that can reduce emissions through innovation and resources. At the time of its announcement at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol, the caucus included more than 50 Republican House members.
Methane Hearing - Testimony from Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox
EPA Methane Listening Session
June 15, 2021
With its passage out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, we are grateful that the Methane Congressional Review Act is one step closer to being enacted, thus allowing critical methane leak safeguards to be reinstated. We especially thank Representatives Diana DeGette of Colorado, Scott Peters of California, and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania for their leadership introducing this resolution in the House of the Representatives.
A letter signed by more than 100 evangelical leaders was sent to Members of Congress this morning, calling on them to include key climate and environmental provisions in a final infrastructure package. Since President Biden unveiled his roadmap for infrastructure spending in March, Congress has been stalled on how to translate the principles of the American Jobs Plan into legislation that can pass through the chamber. Biden has expressed his desire to strike a bipartisan deal with Republican lawmakers, but negotiations between the White House and GOP leaders have revealed fundamental differences between the two sides.
The Evangelical Environmental Network and its body of 200,000+ pro-life Christians who support a strong fugitive methane standard are grateful to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their announcement to begin the process to develop a proposed rule to reduce methane and other harmful pollutants from new and existing sources in the oil and natural gas industry.
The Market Choice Act is a great start in offering a conservative market-based approach to solving the climate crisis and correcting the major market failure of our energy industry. The Evangelical Environmental Network and its over 4 million pro-life Christian supporters have long recommended a carbon fee approach to address the climate crisis. We look forward to seeing this legislation being evaluated in a Congressional Hearing and being improved upon. This bill offers potential for addressing climate change and supplying a revenue stream to defray the cost of funding a major infrastructure & climate adaptation package.
Today, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection released its CO2 Budget Trading Program Draft Final-Form Rulemaking. It’s time to account for the actual costs of pollution and make producers pay the cost of the trash and toxins they create. Coal-produced electricity costs 14.87 US cents/kWh more than we pay on our home meter and those costs are born in the hearts, lungs, minds, and lives of our children while the companies get the profit.
Following the bipartisan vote on the Congressional Review Act, we are thankful for co-sponsors Senators Collins (R-ME), Heinrich (D-NM), King (I-ME), Markey (D-MA), and my own Senator Casey (D-PA) plus the great additional backing from Senators Graham (R-SC) and Portman (R-OH) for fantastic bipartisan support for the Methane Congressional Review Act to end the Trump Administration attack on our children.
SB-119’s not so secret intent is to bury the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Bolstering this goal has been the rallying cry of by some in Harrisburg of unfair job losses in our Commonwealth. The reality is that coal plants will close in Pennsylvania, period. As the current draft RGGI standards being written by the Department of Environmental will take at least a minimum of two years to take effect, RGGI will not likely hasten coal’s demise–that’s already occurring. Back in 2015, Appalachian Power’s (WV) then-President Charles Patton said, “You just can’t go with new coal [plants] at this point in time. It is just not economically feasible to do so…. the economics of alternatives to fossil-based fuels are making inroads in the utility plan. Companies are making decisions today where they are moving away from coal-fired generation.”
We are thankful for President Biden’s ambitious climate pledge to reduce greenhouse gases between 50-52% from 2005 levels by 2030. Meeting this goal will save American lives from its corresponding fossil fuel pollution, restore American leadership in an advanced energy economy, create family-sustaining jobs, and improve the quality of life for all.
The Evangelical Environment Network, our Board of Directors, and our millions of supporters–many of whom are farmers–support The Growing Climate Solutions Act. We applaud the leadership of Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for the bill’s introduction and the overwhelming bipartisan support of 31 U.S. Senators.
We are pleased with the reintroduction of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) by Rep. Deutch (FL-22) and more than twenty other sponsors. EICDA and other carbon pricing proposals are a win-win for American families and the American economy: these proposals reduce carbon pollution, protect low- and middle-income families from cost increases, advance the clean energy economy, incentivize innovation, and keep American businesses competitive on the world stage.
In response to the White House’s American Jobs Plan The Rev. Mitch Hescox, President and CEO of Evangelical Environmental Network, released the following statement.
Evangelical Environmental Network is pleased that Congress introduced the Congressional Review Act resolution today. As pro-life evangelicals, we have a special concern for the unborn. Before they take their first breath, we must ensure that all children have a healthy start, unhindered by the ravages of pollution. Central to delivering on this promise is reducing methane leaks and associated harmful emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) from methane gas production. That is why we support the introduction of CRA to end the Trump Administration’s attack on our children’s health by weakening previous EPA limits on methane new source performance standards.
Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) is thankful for the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee’s vote to advance the nomination of Janet McCabe to serve as Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a bipartisan vote. A special thank you to Senator Wicker (R, MS) for his support of McCabe’s nomination.
The Evangelical Environmental Network applauds Pennsylvania’s Governor Wolf and his administration for announcing the Pennsylvania PULSE Program today. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania signing a power purchase agreement for 191 MW of solar created electricity will reduce pollution, decrease 157,000 metric tons of carbon pollution, lower electric costs by $30 million for the state government and create 400 jobs.
In this time of great economic need, the REPLANT Act will also provide critical investment to communities throughout the United States and create nearly 49,000 new American jobs over the next decade, including in rural communities hit hard by COVID-19. In short, it is a win for God’s creation, the economy, and the well-being of everyday Americans.
The EPA has begun to reestablish its mission of protecting human health and the environment today by restoring the role of science needed to address the moral imperative of addressing climate change and its threats to all God’s children across this planet.
The Evangelical Environmental Network and its base of over 4 million pro-life Christians are thankful to the United States Senate for confirming climate changemaker Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency today.
Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has opened applications for their Partners Program. EEN is looking for Christ followers who are ready to take their activism to the next level through community building, civic engagement, and faithful advocacy.
Dirty air has grave consequences for the health of our children and other vulnerable populations, like the elderly. That’s why EEN supports Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that will apply market-based solutions to reduce the health impacts from power plant pollution, helping boost jobs and save precious lives in Pennsylvania.
EEN and 58,000 pro-life Christians call for the protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Arctic Refuge is a sacred place, and pro-life Christians know that ongoing attempts to open the land to oil and gas drilling is an affront to God’s creation and Indigenous sovereignty for the Gwich’in people.
Mr. Regan’s leadership at both the state and Federal levels coupled with his ability to work with regulated industries such as Duke Energy and his respect for science and public health make him the ideal EPA Administrator. We are thankful that these Senators had the wisdom to do the right thing for our public health. Now, we call on the entire Senate to confirm Mr. Regan.
The Biden administration finally recognizes the climate crisis for what it is – a threat multiplier – and making climate considerations an essential part of foreign policy and national security.
While these early actions are a start in the right direction, the administration cannot do it alone. We call on Congress to also step up the plate and come together in a bipartisan fashion to enact lasting and durable solutions that protect God’s creation, defend life by reducing the burden of pollution and the threat of an unstable climate, and give our children a hope and expectation for a bright and healthy future.
It is time to come together and address our reality with God’s help. Confronting racism, intolerance, COVID-19, the economic crisis, and the climate crisis will be tough. These challenges impact all of God’s children, but we must create family-sustaining jobs and a brighter future.
Today, the Evangelical Environmental Network submitted 30,562 individual comments from Pennsylvania pro-life Christians to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and its Environmental Quality Board in support of the CO2 Budget Trading Program Regulations (50 Pa.B. 6212).
This moment in our public life calls for leaders who protect and defend our democratic institutions, who tell the truth and repudiate lies, who advance the common good rather than their own self-interests, and who lead with wisdom and humility. Donald Trump has shown himself more clearly than ever to be woefully ill-equipped to rise to these standards. He must go now and never hold office again.
We are calling for an end to the senseless violence and chaos at the United States Capitol today, and for President Trump to immediately cease the baseless claims of election fraud.
It’s been far too long to continue the noisy sounds of election fraud – it’s simply “fake news” and, at best, only the song of those unable to accept the defeat of their favored candidate, or at worst, those trying to subvert justice and righteousness by destroying our democracy and those words enshrined in our Pledge of Allegiance: “… one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We are grateful for this significant – and critically needed – down payment towards the bright and healthy future our children deserve and we are called to give. We thank our congressional leaders for acting to protect the health of our children today and their future tomorrow through these important measures. We especially thank Senate and House leadership –Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer – for shepherding through these critical provisions. However, as with coronavirus relief and recovery efforts, Congress can’t stop here. Much more is needed to fully address the pollution and climate crises. We call on Congress to continue to work together over the coming year in this same spirit of bipartisanship with each other and the incoming Biden Administration.
We need all government agencies to work together and in conjunction with American industry to create a clean energy economy that puts our families first and restores our energy leadership while defending our children’s health and even lives.
It will be our honor to work alongside Ms. McCarthy in achieving our common goals – guided by Scripture and by the moral implications of scientific findings – to overcome the climate crisis, defend our children’s health, overcome environmental racism, support a just transition for fossil fuel workers, and help create a clean energy economy that supplies family-sustaining jobs for all.
The Evangelical Environmental Network applauds Senators Braun (R-IN), Coons (D-DE), Young (R-IN), and King (I-ME) for introducing the Trillion Trees and Natural Carbon Storage Act. This is exactly the kind of bipartisan leadership that America needs to address climate change, defend children’s health, care for future generations, and provide meaningful employment as we overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
At EEN our mission is to inspire, equip, educate, and mobilize evangelical Christians to love God and others by rediscovering and reclaiming the Biblical mandate to care for creation and working toward a stable climate and a healthy, pollution-free world. This mission is based in Scripture, not partisan politics. EEN is committed to carrying out this biblical calling regardless of changes in political office. We look forward to working with all who take office in January 2021 for the sake of God’s creation and God’s children.
I am no longer fooled into believing the number on the tag represents the price of food. Price must include the cost to human, animal, and soil health. We must stop mortgaging the future to provide cheap food today.
The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) is thankful for Governor Tom Wolf’s veto of the ill designed HB 2025. HB 2025, if signed, would have stopped Pennsylvania from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and continued fossil fuel pollution’s threat to our children’s health.
Part of being a Christian is creation care. Should Christians care about birds? God did and does. When he created them he called them “good.” He ordered Noah to take into the ark “two of every living thing.”
It’s time for the EPA to live up to its stated mission: “to protect human health and the environment.” That requires following sound science, defending our children’s health, and putting morals above political favors.
Denying science, allowing market failures to maximize profits over children’s health, and distorting truth, makes Republicans increasingly irrelevant. As the quoted polling indicates, change is happening. Unless Republicans become real conservatives, the Republican Party will be as useful as the coal fired power plants being shuttered.
In July, Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) with strong bipartisan support (310 to 107 in the House and 73 to 25 in the Senate). I am grateful to the Evangelical Environmental Network for helping to build this bipartisanship.
It’s past time for bold action on climate change. We are thankful for the Senate Special Committee on the Climate Crisis report, released today, titled "The Case for Climate Action." Addressing the climate crisis is crucial to safeguarding our families’ health and our children’s future.
I am most concerned about the long-term cost to our climate. Among myriad environmental benefits provided by the Tongass National Forest, climate scientists note the huge volumes of carbon the millions of acres of old-growth trees store. It contains massive amounts of carbon in the forest areas, much more than the Amazon on a per acre basis. The forest also helps the soil retain water and regulate river flows. The Indigenous people who live in the area rely on the wildlife for food, shelter, and their livelihood. Conventional grocery shopping is not feasible in the highly isolated region, with prices for food running two or three times more than they would in the city.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Wheeler has disregarded children’s health and the very mission of the EPA yet again by eliminating methane pollution safeguards from the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, Mr. Wheeler has put the interests of corporate oil and gas polluters ahead of the health and safety of high-risk communities and our children, both born and unborn. This complete disregard for life is precisely why we opposed his nomination to the EPA and continue to oppose this Administration's deadly agenda that continues to value fossil fuel profits over life. As Christians, we know this is unbiblical and immoral.
Over 53,000 pro-life Christians have called on the Governor and the Ohio Legislature to repeal HB 6 and to reinstate strong energy efficiency and clean energy portfolio standards because they understand that a clean energy future is a pro-life future.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce and mourn the death of our EEN Moms Director, Elizabeth “Beth” Bond. The EEN team is in shock and mourning over this tragic loss of a friend, colleague, and sister in faith. Beth will be remembered as a trailblazer— for addressing climate change as a critical aspect of Christian discipleship and for the adoption of renewable energy throughout the church and across the Southeast.
In a great show of bipartisan support, 14 Pennsylvania Representatives and Senator Bob Casey voted yes. The Evangelical Environmental Network especially wishes to recognize Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA 1st District) as an original House of Representatives Cosponsor and one of the GAOA House Leaders. As a constituent of Representative Lloyd Smucker (R-PA 11th District) and Senator Casey (D-PA), the Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox, EEN’s President/C.E.O. offers a special thank you.
The Evangelical Environmental Network is pleased to announce the results of our latest petition campaign where nearly 65,000 pro-life Christians called on their Members of Congress to include clean energy, healthy jobs, and support for farmers in the next stimulus package.
Access to God’s beautiful creation and America’s great outdoors has been an incredible source of solace and healing as our nation confronts the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuit for true and lasting racial justice. Today’s historic passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) in the House of Representatives represents a critical step toward ensuring safe and ready access to our national, state, and local parks and public lands for generations to come.
Why are we throwing our tax dollars away on a dirty, polluting industry that harms our children instead of investing in a brighter, cleaner, and healthy future for all of us? Pennsylvanians want a strong, healthy vision for our future – not a vision that keeps us living in the past. This vote doesn’t reflect our citizens beliefs, it simply ignores them.
Over the past several months, 53,000 pro-life Ohioans have signed a petition calling on Governor Mike DeWine and the members of the Ohio Legislature to transition Ohio to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030. Members of Ohio’s faith community shared information today about the importance of clean, renewable energy and what Ohio should do to embrace these efforts for the health and safety for all Ohioans.
As we begin the COVID-19 recovery, our health, our future, and our economy cannot afford the failures of the past. Instead, we must move forward together toward a brighter, cleaner, and healthy future. Together we can build a vibrant and healthy Pennsylvania for all.
Addressing the climate crisis is crucial to safeguard our families’ health and children’s future. Without bold action, more and more communities across the United States will continue to be hit with more intense extreme weather, farther-reaching wildfires, and hotter and longer-lasting heat waves. The consequences of these devastating events have a long-lasting impact on lives, livelihoods, and local economies.
By simply protecting God’s creation, we can get up to 37% of the way needed to avoid dangerous levels of global warming. Conserving and restoring blue carbon ecosystems, such as wetlands, estuaries, and tidal marshes, is particularly critical for keeping communities resilient in the face of extreme weather and ensuring a healthy, safe, and stable future for our children.
For many, the best place to seek freedom, healing, and peace is amid God’s creation. GAOA restores the majestic wonder of our national parks and public lands, provides much needed resources to be better stewards of our natural resources, and also creates critical jobs during this economically uncertain time. With the Senate passage of the GAOA, we also see the results of bipartisan action at its best.
As our country responds and seeks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great American Outdoors Act provides critical investment to communities throughout the United States, creates sustainable and immediate jobs in a time of great economic need, and protects and preserves unique and irreplaceable places in God’s creation.
Years of deferred maintenance have left our National Parks and other public lands with deteriorating infrastructure and crumbling trails, roads, and visitor centers. By establishing the National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Fund, the Great American Outdoors Act ensures safe access to the healing benefits and sacred experience of God’s creation for our children today and for generations to come. Immediate, shovel-ready jobs restoring our Parks’ aging infrastructure and preserving the natural beauty of God’s creation will provide a desperately needed economic boost to communities and workers across America.
The Growing Climate Solutions Act provides a way for the agricultural community, especially family farms, to increase income, enrich soil, sequester carbon, and to be empowered as part of the climate solution.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12. These words of Jesus define our ministry and guide our mission. Therefore, we are compelled to speak out to society at large and especially to others in the evangelical community. Any affront to a child of God must be an affront to all Christians and all people. All humans are created in the image of God (Gen 1:26), and what God has created let no one call profane. To keep silent on the injustice of racism is a disregard to Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves. Our pro-life values flow from these teachings. All human life is sacred. Sadly, that Biblical truth has not been equally valued in America. To our brothers and sisters of color, we can stand with you, shield you, love you and proclaim that your life matters.
As pro-life Christians, defending children’s health remains at the core of who we are. That’s why we are pleased that Pennsylvania’s Department of Environment Protection just released its standard for Control of VOC Emissions from Oil and Natural Gas Sources for public comment.
In times such as these, we need to move forward, not backward. That’s why we are disappointed in some members of our Pennsylvania Legislature who are so clearly unmoved by our dismal air and water quality that threatens children's health today and tomorrow. These members are preventing us from moving forward to a clean, healthy future.
President Donald Trump and his Administration claim to be pro-life, but their actions time and again prove otherwise. Today, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has completely disregarded his agency’s mission of protecting human health by finalizing his dangerous plan to alter the lifesaving Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS).
With this rollback, the Trump Administration continues to lie about its dangerous and harmful environmental policies. In true Orwellian fashion, an EPA spokesperson said this gutting of fuel economy standards will reduce pollution, increase fuel economy, and make vehicles more affordable. It will do the exact opposite.
Let’s work together for the good of all Pennsylvanians by dealing with the social and economic impact of the Coronavirus first and then working together in a bipartisan way to incentivize good paying jobs that don’t threaten our children’s lives.
We care deeply for all of those in the U.S. and around the world who are feeling the impacts of this pandemic. During this challenging time, we hope you are staying safe and acting out of love for our most vulnerable neighbors.
Senators Portman (R-OH), Warner (D-VA), Gardner (R-CO), Manchin (D-WV) and Daines (R-MT) introduced an important bill that would address the growing National Park Service deferred maintenance backlog and provide full, permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). It is well past time to restore and repair our national parks and we are thankful for the leadership of these Senators!
As the majority of U.S. Citizens now recognize the need for robust climate action, this is a step forward as we pray for the Senate and Congress to follow the lead of Americans and provide vigorous climate, energy, and advanced technology research policy.
The Trump Administration is at it again. They’re trying to severely undermine one of our nation’s most important environmental laws, the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA. Every law, every policy can be improved. But when it comes to creation-care policies we certainly don’t trust the Trump Administration to do it!
If people of faith can come together to find our place in this work, we can help deliver the change we need, tree-by-tree. Churches and other houses of worship have land that can be used to plant and care for trees. People of faith can also take this action around their homes, and become involved in tree planting projects in their communities.
Overall, this bill is good news for our climate and all of God’s bountiful creation. We are thankful for Senators Portman, Udall, and Stabenow and encourage Congress to swiftly pass this important legislation.
Pennsylvania is the third-largest greenhouse gas polluting state and the second-largest producer of natural gas in the country at a time when the Environmental Protection Agency has recently moved to eliminate the direct regulation of oil and natural gas production. Pennsylvania has a clear moral obligation to control its emissions.
The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) is pleased to support the bipartisan RECYCLE Act proposed by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). The RECYCLE Act, which stands for “Recycling Enhancements to Collection and Yield through Consumer Learning and Education,” authorizes and instructs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a grant program for communities to improve their recycling programs via education and outreach.
2019 has been a great year for our ministry at EEN. We are so thankful for all of our supporters who helped to make this year meaningful. Below you'll find some of our favorite highlights from 2019. Please consider giving a year-end gift today to help make 2020 our best year yet!
While Thanksgiving is about being with loved ones and pausing to give thanks for the many blessings God has given us, Giving Tuesday is a chance to shift our attention to our hopes for the future. What a great way to end Thanksgiving and move forward into the Christmas season!
The Evangelical Environmental Network is grateful for the leadership of Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) concerning their introduction of the TICK Act, (which stands for Ticks: Identify, Control, and Knock Out). We applaud Senators Collins and Smith for introducing this important legislation that seeks “to provide assistance to combat the escalating burden of Lyme disease and other tick and vector-borne diseases and disorders.”
Our friends at A Rocha recently released the following statement about a fatal car accident involving A Rocha international staff. ** Press statement: A Rocha International staff in fatal accident in South Africa
We know that bipartisanship is key to defending children from the climate crisis, and that is why we are so pleased by the new bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. This new effort, led by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), creates a hopeful path forward for meaningful action.
We are deeply disappointed by the results of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) vote today on the Administration’s plan to replace the Clean Power Plan (CPP) with the so-called “Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule.”
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has announced that PA will be joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). This is great news for children’s health! RGGI helps to combat the market failure that has led to the cost of fossil fuels being hidden in the bodies of our children.
A conservative is someone who recognizes reality for what it is and faces up to it. A patriot is someone who puts his or her country’s interests above their own when called upon.
Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-08), along with Francis Rooney (R-FL-19) Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24), and Scott Peters (D-CA-52) have recognized the problem of climate change and have proposed an effective solution: a well-structured carbon tax that meets our pollution reduction commitments under the Paris Climate Accord. With his leadership as the lead sponsor, Congressman Fitzpatrick has shown that he is a true conservative and patriot. We are honored to support his leadership. We are also grateful to Congressmen Rooney, Carbajal, and Peters for joining with Mr. Fitzpatrick.
Pollution harms the unborn, causing damage that lasts a lifetime. Dirty air and water has serious consequences for the health of our children and other vulnerable populations, such as the elderly. This is why pro-life Christians must lead the charge on clean energy, and why the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) supports a 100% clean energy economy that avoids dangerous interference with the climate system.
For far too long coal companies have not cleaned up their own messes, leaving the rest of us to suffer the consequences and pay the bill. That’s why we applaud the leadership of Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA-8th). We are glad to see that his bill, H.R. 4435, the Coal Cleanup Taxpayer Protection Act of 2019, was recently introduced, and will be considered by the Committee on Natural Resources tomorrow (9-24-19). We encourage the Committee to move the bill quickly through to the House floor, where we hope it will be passed with strong bipartisan support.
Recently, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf re-committed to reducing emissions from the natural gas industry in the wake of “irresponsible rollback of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” from the Trump Administration. We applaud these efforts and encourage Gov. Wolf to ensure that these plans move forward before the end of the year.
"Limiting wasteful methane leaks is good stewardship, and protecting our kids from their harmful health impacts is pro-life. With its announcement today, the Trump Administration has again made clear that it is neither interested in practicing good stewardship nor protecting our kids. This rollback is bad for the unborn and pregnant women, bad for young families, and bad for God's creation." The Rev. Mitch Hescox, President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN)
By Terri C.
It’s summer and it’s hot. When you move from air-conditioned offices to cars to homes, it’s easy to forget that fact. Two hundred million people are being affected by the heat in the U.S. alone right now and heat-related deaths top all other weather-related fatalities.
Today, President Trump and Secretary Bernhardt finalized their immoral revisions to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The new regulations will make it harder to protect threatened species, which will lead to more endangered species and even extinction. This is the opposite of the biblical call to stewardship. The plan also undermines the ESA by allowing for economic considerations to determine whether protections will be provided. We reject these changes, and we will continue to oppose any efforts that weaken the Act and threaten God’s creatures.
Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. That is why we welcome new solutions from our elected officials that seek to reduce harmful emissions and promote sustainable prosperity. Today, Senators Coons (D-DE) and Feinstein (D-CA) have introduced the Climate Action Rebate Act of 2019 which will place a price on carbon and help reduce emissions.
Bill Wehrum, the chief air quality official at the Environmental Protection Agency, will be stepping down from his role as head of the Office of Air and Radiation at the end of the month. Praise God! Mr. Wehrum did not take seriously the mission of the EPA to protect human health and the environment, and we pray that his replacement will.
Today the Trump Administration finalized its “Affordable Clean Energy Rule” (ACE) as a replacement to the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time and this effort to dismantle the CPP is a major step backward. The CPP aimed to reduce climate pollution by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030, and ACE would only reduce pollution by, at most, 1.5 percent. By the EPA’s own estimates, ACE would lead to as many as 1,400 premature deaths per year. This is unacceptable and immoral. Rev. Mitch Hescox, President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network
Fixing natural gas leaks is pro-life and good stewardship. That is why we support Representative Diana DeGette’s (D, CO-1) Methane Waste Prevention Act of 2019 to reverse the Trump administration roll-back on methane leak standards on new sources and Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) regulation to reduce methane pollution on public lands under BLM’s jurisdiction. Representative DeGette’s bill is a critical measure to protect public health, solve the climate crisis, and cut methane waste and pollution.
The Evangelical Environmental Network is grateful for the leadership of Pennsylvania state Senator Tom Killion (R-Delaware County) and state Representative Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia), along with over 80 bipartisan cosponsors, for reintroducing legislation to transition the state to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
We’re Better Than H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act
The Rev. Jim Ball, Ph.D.
EEN Senior Advisor
The Climate Action Now Act, which reaffirms the U.S. contribution to the international Paris Climate Accord, is up for a vote. Given its 224 cosponsors, it’s passage is a foregone conclusion. Great news, right? What’s not to like? I so wish I could be for it. But I can’t.
The Honorable Francis Rooney
United States House of Representatives
Dear Congressman Rooney:
We are very grateful for your pro-life commitment to your caring for the environment, including being the Republican co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus.
Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the state will join the United States Climate Alliance, becoming the 24th state committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Accord. His administration also released an updated version of Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan in conjunction with the announcement.
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has had a remarkable career — but it’s not over yet! It just might be that his crowning achievement awaits before his final term ends in 2020. I’m talking about his New Manhattan Project For Clean Energy, an updated version of a plan he first introduced over a decade ago. Many times successful legislation is something a seasoned legislator has had in his or her back pocket, waiting for the right moment. The buzz generated around the concept of a Green New Deal could help create the political conditions to make the New Manhattan Project For Clean Energy a reality.
We are grateful for the leadership of Senators Art Haywood (D-4), Thomas H. Killion (R-9), and Steven J. Santarsiero (D-10) in announcing plans for Modernizing Pennsylvania's Renewable Energy Standards. Their proposed legislation calls for:
Evangelicals believe that “clean air, pure water and adequate resources are crucial to public health and civic order. Therefore, government has an obligation to protect its citizens from environmental degradation and from human suffering that it causes.”
MATS has worked, is saving lives, and is cost effective. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standard needs to be left as is.
Every parent & grandparent wants a quality life for their children & grandchildren. Allowing MATS to be changed or rolled back is simply morally wrong.
We are thankful that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) will oppose the confirmation of Andrew Wheeler as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Mr. Wheeler currently serves as the Acting Administrator.
We are thankful for the announcement today that Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) will oppose the confirmation of Andrew Wheeler as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Mr. Wheeler currently serves as the Acting Administrator.
This has been a great week in Congress for our national parks and public lands. Senate recently passed the largest public lands bill in a decade and today both chambers of Congress reintroduced bipartisan legislation to to address the critical maintenance needs of our beloved national parks. We applaud the leaders in Congress who are dedicated to protecting these special places.
We are grateful for the renewed interest in Congress for action on climate change — and none too soon, because the threat has become our reality, and the danger is outpacing our current efforts to overcome it. That’s why we are pleased with the re-introduction of “The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA)” by Representatives Tom Rooney, (R-FL 7) and Ted Deutch (D-FL 22).
A Statement by
The Rev. Mitch Hescox,
President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network
As a pro-life organization, we are thankful for the leadership Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is providing on mercury pollution. Her bill to establish a monitoring system, the Comprehensive National Mercury Monitoring Act, recently reintroduced, is an important part of protecting our children from mercury pollution.
A Statement by the Rev. Mitch Hescox
President/CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network
December 28, 2018 | YORK, PA—In what amounts to a Christmas stocking filled with coal, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler presented our children, both preborn and born – as well as pregnant women or those who hope to become pregnant – the gift of one of the most serious neurotoxins, mercury.