Climate and Energy

windmillOur energy choices directly affect the health of the air and climate. The byproduct of energy derived from burning fossil-fuel is carbon dioxide (CO2), a powerful greenhouse gas. As individuals and as a society, we must choose to reduce carbon emissions. The most important steps are to use energy more efficiently, replace fossil fuels with clean energy sources such as sun and wind, and protect forests. By taking these steps we will not only stem global warming – We will also provide secure energy supplies and generate new jobs and prosperity in clean technologies. In our Power Past Coal advocacy, we work towards moving the world away from dirty coal that poisons our communities, waters, and climate to a new, clean energy economy.

Our energy choices not only effect the health of our climate, they also effect the health of our communities and natural resources. Today we are facing an unprecedented increase in the volume of oil being shipped by rail, pipeline, and tanker. Our waters face unprecedented risk from oil spills and rail accidents. Our communities are threatened by the risk of exploding oil trains in our neighborhoods. As people of faith who work for strong, safe communities and a healthy, clean economy that leaves a better world for our children, we are speaking out against risky oil transportation that threatens our safety and way of life.

You can read more about oil transportation in the Pacific Northwest in the Sightline Report: The Northwest's Pipeline on Rails.

Earth Ministry supported these bills during the January 2014 legislative session:

nooiltrainOil Transportation Safety Act (HB 2347): Throughout the nation, we are hearing about dangerous accidents and fires caused by oil transport. Recent oil train derailments in Canada and the United States highlight the risky business of moving oil through our cities. Yet local governments, first responders, and the public lack basic information on how much, what type, and how oil is moving through their towns. HB 2347 will require this disclosure.

At the same time, Washington faces new proposals to move more oil through our state. It is more urgent than ever to improve safety by evaluating existing emergency response plans, identifying our most vulnerable communities, and developing approaches to reduce risk. We are also working to enhance tug escort requirements to protect our waterways and coasts. See our fact sheet: People of Faith Support the Oil Transportation Safety Act.

Closing the Big Oil Tax Loophole (HB 2465): Oil companies like BP and Shell should be paying to clean up their pollution, not profiting from a state tax loophole that was never meant for them. The Legislature created this “accidental loophole” in 1949, before any oil refineries operated in Washington. Now, Big Oil profits from the system and avoids paying $59 million of their fair share of taxes. Earth Ministry worked in partnership with the Environmental Priorities Coalition to try and close this loophole and reallocate this tax revenue for education.

News and Events

Group calls for transition to clean energy

Earth Ministry/WAIPL brought faith leaders to the table with community of color members, labor representatives, and environmental policymakers for this important conversation about a just transition to a clean energy economy in the Skagit Valley.   By Kimberly Cauvel Skagit Valley Herald April 29, 2016  MOUNT VERNON — Each day…
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Caring for Creation

Local Catholic communities, like Our Lady of Guadalupe in West Seattle, are using Pope Francis’s encyclical to reinforce their good work for creation care.  By Louis McGill Northwest Catholic March 30, 2016  When parishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish decided in 2009 to build a parish…
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St. Andrew's Wins IPL Cool Congregations Challenge

Interfaith Power and Light has awarded St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church of Seattle as the winner of the national Cool Congregations Challenge. Along with going solar, this Greening Congregation cultivates a garden and participates in a carbon offset partnerships. St. Andrew’s certainly is a renewal role model…
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Climate Action for Earth Day

Faith leaders around the country are speaking up and taking action on climate change this Earth Month! Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light is proud to be participating in two national initiatives to bring attention to one of the most important moral issues of our…
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Further Resources

Caring for All Creation: In the Home

The Cry of Creation: A Call for Climate Justice

Washington Interfaith Power & Light

Sightline Report: The Northwest's Pipeline on Rails