Dave Hackett, of the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Legislative Ministry of Maryland testified in favor of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finding that greenhouse gases can be regulated under the Clean Air Act, because the gases pose a threat to public health and welfare. Also supporting this testimony were other UU state advocacy groups, including: Washington State Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice, UU Massachusetts Action Network, Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance, UU Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network, and UU Legislative Ministry of Florida. The May 18th hearing at EPA's Alexandria, VA, offices was the first of two. EPA's second hearing was held in Seattle, WA, on May 21st, where Rev. Carol McKinley, Coordinator of the Washington State UU Voices for Justice, also submitted testimony.
“Facing the scientific facts of climate science at last, right now, is a moral imperative. Otherwise, our children and grandchildren may curse our timidity and short-sightedness for endangering their health and well-being. Whose treasure are we protecting?,” Hackett said in his testimony. “May courage, love, innovation, and excellent, honest scientific dialogue show us the way to honor both our children and the interconnected web of all existence?”
The testimony was offered during a public comment before the EPA finding is finalized. This finding positions the agency to regulate greenhouse gases. The finding also provides an impetus for Congress to legislate a uniform national greenhouse gas emissions program and an incentive for stakeholders to negotiate now rather than use delaying tactics.
Hackett said: "Representing UUs in many state advocacy networks across the whole country felt much more powerful than speaking only for UUs in Maryland... Standing up for the interconnected web of all existence in a federal hearing gave both roots and wings to my relationship with this lovely UU principle."
UU Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) generously and skillfully nurtured growth of the inter-state network. "Their investment of love, patience and resources is paying off in effectively multiplying (the) impact of UUs in state and now federal deliberations," according to Hackett.
Hackett’s testimony acknowledged concerns about climate science expressed by some presenters. While the UU presenters strongly supported EPA's finding, they also said honest, vigorous debate yields better science.
Bill Crowley of the UU Legislative Ministry for Maryland, who also attended the testimony, said EPA officers’ careful attention to each and every presenter showed respect for "the inherent worth and dignity of every person."
UU State networks are developing a project plan for coordinated, multi-state action on global warming. The networks, UUA, and UU Service Committee (UUSC) are supporting strong federal legislation regulating greenhouse gases. This would enable more credible U.S. leadership in the Copenhagen negotiations to build on the Kyoto Treaty. Please contact your State's UU network and get involved today. You can also get involved with the UUA, UUSC, and UU Ministry for Earth, which are active on this issue. An opportunity for UUs to participate will be the October 24th International Day of Climate Action 350 campaign.