Saturday, July 2, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

PA Faith Leaders Speak Out on Environmental Loopholes

Play

Monday, September 25, 2017   

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Some Pennsylvania faith leaders are asking state lawmakers to keep the future of the state's health and environment out of industry hands. A version of the budget passed by the state Senate includes House Bill 542, which opponents say would shred important air and water safeguards.

The measure includes outsourcing the drilling permit review process to private companies, setting deadlines for automatic drilling permit approval, and blocking clean air protections. Joy Bergey, director at the Environmental Justice Center at Chestnut Hill United Church in Philadelphia, called it unacceptable.

"Blocking these environmental and public health standards won't balance the budget. All it would do is to give the drillers a license to pollute,” Bergey said. “And it places Pennsylvania's communities and people at greater risk."

Bergey is among several individuals and groups that recently sent a letter to members of the General Assembly, voicing their opposition to HB 542.

Some of the bill's supporters say it would make permitting more timely and wouldn't infringe upon environmental protections. But Bergey argued the industry has proven it can't be trusted to make environmentally sound decisions.

"If you look at fracking, we've had many spills, we've had an enormous amount of pollution from the fracking industry,” she said. "They are not the ones that should be deciding which wells get drilled where, and pipelines and things like that. It should be the Department of Environmental Protection."

Bergey said the faith community is compelled to defend the most vulnerable: children, older adults, people living in poverty and those who are medically fragile.

"Pollution hurts those people at the edges disproportionately, as those people have less opportunity to speak for themselves,” Bergey said. "That's why it's a moral call that our elected leaders don't bargain away these protections."

Organizations that signed the letter include the Mainline Interfaith Green Group, the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, and The Shalom Center.


get more stories like this via email

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021