Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
It’s been hot lately.
Scorching temperatures around the world last month tied August 2019 as the second-hottest August on record and capped off the hottest Northern Hemisphere summer, tied with 2016.
Pennsylvania has seen a 2.4o F temperature rise since 1970 and it only going to get worse.
Climate change is real and the greatest moral challenge of our time, as every single child of God from Erie to Philadelphia, from South Africa to Slippery Rock, PA are impacted. It’s also the greatest opportunity for hope in building sustainable prosperity. That's why I’m glad to see bipartisan legislators here today, and we applaud them for their courage to put children before politics, life before special interests.
Fugitive methane and the other associated fugitive toxins that leak from our natural gas industry are double trouble. For those living in proximity to natural gas production sites there is the medically-researched threat of premature and low birthweight births, birth defects, respiratory illnesses and other even more serious health consequences.
For the rest of us Pennsylvanians, fugitive methane and associated VOC’s result in increases smog (ground level ozone), increased temperature – all influencing our changing climate and exacerbating asthma attacks, Lyme Disease, and the potential for more heat related deaths.
Reducing fugitive methane and the associated toxic chemicals such as benzene should not be a partisan issue but an ethical defense of our children’s health today and their PA Constitutional right to a healthy future with clean air, pure water and healthy environment that sustains life, not threatens life.
That’s why in the past several years almost 100,000 pro-life Christians have called for strong fugitive methane standards for Pennsylvania natural gas industry, at both conventional and unconventional drilling sites. Both forms of production are equally responsible for the over 500,000 tons of leaking methane.
We’re thankful that Governor Wolf committed to release existing source standards by the end of the year, but hopefully they will be out for public comment in November. We plan to ensure that the new standards will address all fugitive methane from all types of production and will defend our children’s health and even lives.
We’re also thankful for the bipartisan legislators that stood with our children today to not only call off the promulgation of existing source methane & VOC standard but defend them from the attacks of special interests.
In closing, I have an invitation for Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. As today’s legislators stood together as a bipartisan coalition, along with faith and health groups, I invite Pennsylvania’s Drilling Industry to stand with industry leaders, like Exxon/Mobil, BP, and Shell in supporting fugitive methane standards. It’s the right thing—the moral thing—the right kind of corporate citizenship for a better Pennsylvania and better health for our children.