August 31, 2018

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Sisters of Providence say administration is wrong in replacing Clean Power Plan

We, the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, stand with other organizations across our beautiful Earth as we express our disappointment and dismay with the Trump administration’s decision to replace the Clean Power Plan with its proposed Affordable Clean Energy rule.

The proposed new plan is much weaker than the Clean Power Plan put in place by the previous administration. The Clean Power Plan was designed to help combat global warming by making utilities switch to greener power sources. An analysis provided for the Clean Power Plan called for a prevention of between 1,500 and 3,600 premature deaths per year by 2030, and a reduction in the number of missed school days by close to 200,000 annually.

According to The New York Times’ article, “Cost of New E.P.A. Coal Rules: Up to 1,400 More Deaths a Year,” the analysis of the Affordable Clean Energy rule is rather stark.

The Times’ article stated that the analysis—provided by the Environmental Protection Agency—predicted as many as 1,400 premature deaths annually by 2030. The increase was tied to the extremely fine particulate matter connected to heart and lung disease. The analysis also forecast 15,000 new cases of upper respiratory problems, a rise in bronchitis and tens of thousands of missed school days annually.

The Trump administration has stated that the overhaul of pollution restrictions on coal-burning power plants will help create new jobs, eliminate government regulations and end the “war on coal.” The administration added, according to The Times’ article, that other rules governing pollution could be used to reduce the numbers provided in the analysis.

We, the Sisters of Providence, have advocated and will continue to advocate for ethical principles in resource use at the local, state, national and global levels. In our Land Ethic, established in 2012, we wrote, “As members of one sacred Earth community, we Sisters of Providence commit ourselves individually and communally to care for our resources and to make decisions regarding their current and future use … .”

We challenge our local, state and national legislators, as well as people across the archdiocese, to denounce the repeal of the Clean Power Plan and to strive for the continued reduction of carbon emissions by power plants so all of creation can flourish and the effects of climate change can be mitigated.

Sisters of Providence Leadership Team
Sister Dawn Tomaszewski, general superior
Sister Lisa Stallings, vicar
Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp
Sister Mary Beth Klingel
Sister Jenny Howard

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