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Elisa Batista's picture

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With all the political mudslinging, you would think that people of faith only care about two things: abortion and gay marriage.

As a practicing Catholic I tend to think the media portrays people of faith in black-and-white, which is why I was thrilled to see the Catholic Church remind parishioners -- and the public! -- that being "pro-life" also means ensuring that the unborn and the born have clean air to thrive.

Here is a letter by the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference in support of the EPA's proposed standards to reduce mercury and air toxins produced by power plants:

While we are not experts on air pollution, our general support for a national standard to reduce hazardous air pollution from power plants is guided by Catholic teaching, which calls us to care for God's creation and protect the common good and the life and dignity of human persons, especially the poor and vulnerable, from conception until natural death. As we articulated in Putting Children and Families First: "For generations, the Catholic community has reached out to children... We have defended their right to life itself and their right to live with dignity, to realize the bright promise and opportunity of childhood."

Children, inside and outside the womb, are uniquely vulnerable to environmental hazards and exposure to toxic pollutants in the environment. Their bodies, behaviors and size leave them more exposed than adults to such health hazards. Furthermore, since children are exposed to environmental hazards at an early age, they have more extended time to develop slowly-progressing environmentally triggered illnesses...

A national standard limiting mercury and other toxic air pollution represents an important opportunity to protect the health and welfare of all people, especially our children and poor and vulnerable communities. Applying such a standard would reduce emissions of mercury from power plants by 91 percent marking a significant step forward. Some may attempt to weaken this proposed standard. However, we believe we ought to take prudent and responsible action to protect our children.

Faith-based organizations and families are a powerful coalition that not even the best-funded plants and their lobbyists can break. Let's keep the momentum for this bill going. If you haven't already done so, please join me at Moms Clean Air Force and write to the EPA in support of the proposed rule to reduce mercury and toxins in our air. Also pass the word onto your churches and communities! Thank you!


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