When my phone rang on March 15, it was the office of Lisa Jackson, the EPA Administrator.
I was invited to Washington for the signing of a new rule to reduce mercury pollution from coal plants. This rule will save 17,000 lives each year — many in poor communities. EPA leaders know GreenFaith cares. They wanted us there. Soon after I arrived at EPA’s beautiful Rachel Carson Hall, Administrator Jackson spoke. She said that our children and elderly need clean air. The Presidents of the American Lung Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics voiced support. The 100 of us in attendance gave her a standing ovation. GreenFaith was the only faith-based group in the room.
As soon as the rule was released, some industry groups attacked it. One group said, “Adaptation to all the proposed rules constitutes an extraordinary threat to the power sector.”
After the event was over, I was invited to speak to Administrator Jackson privately. She thanked me for our support of clean air for all people. She said that religious voices were critically important. She asked me to do everything I could to get more people of faith involved. That’s why I’m writing you. I need you help – now. This new rule is still open for public comment. I don’t need to tell you that some groups want it weakened.
I want to get 1,000 people to sign a statement by Earth Day — April 22 — in support of strong action to reduce mercury pollution.
I believe God wants us to support life, to make the earth healthy for everyone. My faith motivates me – and I know it motivates you also. As the event was ending, the head of the Academy of Pediatrics said, “If you think it’s expensive to put a scrubber on a smokestack, you should see how much it costs to treat a child over a lifetime with a birth defect.”
I agree, and so do you. Your show of support will help ensure that tomorrow’s children get cleaner, safer air to breathe. Please add your name today.
Rev. Fletcher Harper
P.S. Don’t let industry groups weaken this life-saving rule. Let your voice be heard.Please sign today.