Bishop Marc to speak at EPA hearing, advocate for preserving Clean Power Plan 

[Diocese of California | February 27]  The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California, will be speaking against the proposed repeal of President Barack Obama's signature environmental policy at several events in San Francisco on Wednesday, February 28. The events include a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency public hearing, a press conference on the steps of City Hall, and a prayer service at Civic Center Plaza. 

The all-day EPA hearing at the San Francisco Main Public Library is billed as a "listening session," designed to give the public an opportunity to comment on the agency's proposal to repeal the Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generation. Also known as the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration policy aimed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants 32 percent by 2030, relative to 2005 levels. 

Under the Trump administration, the EPA is now proposing to repeal the Clean Power Plan. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and other proponents of the repeal contend that the plan oversteps its legal authority and is overly punitive to the fossil fuel industries. Supporters of the Clean Power Plan say repealing it would undermine efforts to clean the nation's dirtiest power plants, move toward renewable energy sources, and protect human health and the environment.

"Vulnerable people are most at risk when the environment is degraded," said Bishop Andrus, who will be representing Interfaith Power and Light at the EPA hearing. "To protect children, to protect elders, to protect mothers — this is what all the great religions of the world adhere to is care for the vulnerable." 

In addition to the San Francisco hearing, Bishop Marc will speak on behalf of Interfaith Power and Light at a rally and press conference at 11 a.m. on the steps of San Francisco City Hall.

"There are a number of people who I admire and respect also speaking, including Tom Steyer who is an Episcopalian and a prominent environmental activist."  The list also includes San Francisco Interim Mayor Mark Farrell and California Assemblyman David Chiu. 

At 12:45 p.m., Bishop Andrus will join other clergy leaders in Civic Center Plaza under a white flag that reads, "An Appeal to Heaven" for an interfaith prayer service similar to the "pop-up" worship services that he and other representatives of the Episcopal Church lead at the United Nations climate change summits in Paris (COP21), Marrakech (COP22), and Bonn (COP23).

"Sally Bingham (Interfaith Power and Light's founder and President Emeritus) took part in some of the services in Paris," Bishop Andrus said, explaining the decision to replicate the idea during the EPA hearings in San Francisco. "She felt that we would give spiritual encouragement and strength to those who are hoping to keep the Clean Power Plan alive by having one of these small, reflective, empowering spiritual services," he said.

The EPA is collecting public comment on the proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan until April 26. Listening sessions are being held in San Francisco, California; Kansas City, Missouri; and Gillette, Wyoming. More information about the hearing, including how access the online livestream, is available here