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US bishops: reduce carbon pollution

June 03, 2014

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In a May 29 letter, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called upon the Environmental Protection Agency “to develop standards to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants and thereby mitigate climate change.”

On June 2, the agency issued regulations intended to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30% over the next 16 years.

“The USCCB recognizes the importance of finding means to reduce carbon pollution,” said Archbishop Wenski. “These standards should protect the health and welfare of all people, especially children, the elderly, as well as poor and vulnerable communities, from harmful pollution emitted from power plants and from the impacts of climate change.”

“The best evidence indicates that power plants are the largest stationary source of carbon emissions in the United States, and a major contributor to climate change,” he added. “Power plants have often been located near low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Air pollution from these plants contributes to respiratory problems, especially in the young and the elderly.”


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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Jun. 12, 2014 11:39 PM ET USA

    So, the poor, infirm, and elderly are going to have to absorb higher utility costs, higher food costs, and yes health care costs due to these ill conceived unnecessary regulations. These regulations are also going to decrease our ability to help the victims as well.

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Jun. 04, 2014 3:51 AM ET USA

    Maybe he should coordinate his statement with his bishop colleague who will soon issue a statement about the lack of jobs in the US, about poor workers suffering, trying to feed their families, when jobs are sent overseas, where electricity rates are affordable. Doesn't he know what this sort of radical law will do to electricity rates and thus to jobs? When will the bishops think before they write? When will they stick to their area of competency? When will they stop mouthing the leftist line?

  • Posted by: claude-ccc2991 - Jun. 04, 2014 3:04 AM ET USA

    The bishop confuses pollution like SO2 with alleged pollution like CO2 & appears not to know that plants use CO2 to build their tissues. There are 4 missing attributes of current warming (now paused for 17+ years) that would be present IF the warming were manmade: decreased heat loss to space, increased back radiation toward ground level, higher rate of atmospheric heating relative to the surface, and increased humidity. In fact, the opposites are true, refuting the theory of manmade warming.

  • Posted by: skall391825 - Jun. 04, 2014 2:22 AM ET USA

    This is an example of why the Church is in decline. The New Evangelization MUST begin at the top. Surely the Holy Farther knows this.

  • Posted by: unum - Jun. 03, 2014 11:07 PM ET USA

    This issue is truly above the bishops' pay grade. Bishop Wenski, who I have truly admired since he was bishop of the Orlando diocese, is entitled to his opinion on global warming. His statements echo the sentiments of many liberal Democrats that the science of warming is "settled". Yet many scientists still raise questions about the theory, and many economists decry the negative effects of proposed regulations on the economy. Warming is not a Catholic issue. It is a scientific issue.

  • Posted by: JJF - Jun. 03, 2014 9:48 PM ET USA

    The bishops in their ignorance of this subject have adopted the EPA's misdirection of regulating CO2 while claiming to reduce respiratory problems from air pollution. CO2 is not a pollutant, as we exhale it with every breath. In our desire to lower concentrations of SO2, NOx, ozone, CO, and particulates, the EPA and the unthinking bishops want us to accept economy-killing regulation of a non-polluting greenhouse gas. Water vapor and methane are stronger, but it is hard to regulate humidity.

  • Posted by: filioque - Jun. 03, 2014 7:49 PM ET USA

    Bishop Wenski, please repaeat 3 times: carbon dioxide has, at most, a trivial effect on the climate. Much more important are ocean-atmosphere cycles, solar variability, clouds, and maybe other things. The models do not reflect what is really happening and cannot be relied upon for projecting future conditions. Please learn something about the science before you use your holy office to tell the government what to do in this area. Please leave it to competent laymen.

  • Posted by: jtlebherz3705 - Jun. 03, 2014 1:00 PM ET USA

    Every time that I think this issue has died (as it should), someone sticks their head back in the door just to remind us...Obama, the EPA and now the USCCB! This old "shoe" of a story has been worn so many times that the soles are gone. I'll not repeat the umpteen million reasons for calling it a sham. They are well known. But, for goodness sake, the United States does more to combat pollution than just about anybody. Good grief, when will this issue go away?

  • Posted by: Defender - Jun. 03, 2014 11:31 AM ET USA

    I guess being a committee chairman in the USCCB demands periodic comments to the media. Too bad there hasn't been enough done internally to correct things within the Church - those would certainly merit press coverage.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jun. 03, 2014 7:53 AM ET USA

    What about all the hot air these fellows at USCCB expel every year? IMO that pollutes in a way far more harmful than carbon. Instead of worrying about power plants, something about which they know nothing, our prelates should concern themselves with empty pews, something their own actions (or lack of same) have contributed to greatly.