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The following is the written testimony of YECA Communications Director Lindsay Easter from the EPA Oil and Gas Public Hearing held on December 1, 2021.

The following is the written testimony of YECA National Organizer and Spokesperson Tori Goebel from the EPA Oil and Gas Public Hearing held on November 30, 2021.

As Christians, we are called to love God and love our neighbors (Matthew 22:34-40). Addressing the climate crisis is a meaningful way of doing both better. With today’s passage of the Build Back Better Act in the House of Representatives, we are one step closer to a brighter, more just future for everyone. 

YECA thanks the House of Representatives for passing the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Climate change should not be a partisan issue, and we thank all of the bill supporters, including the 13 Republicans, who voted for the bill. We now call on Congress to continue addressing the climate crisis by implementing bold policies and plans, including the Build Back Better Act. 

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released two proposed rules to limit methane pollution from new and existing sources. These rules would apply to the production, processing, storage, and transmission of oil. It is vital that we end harmful pollution from the oil and gas industry. We are grateful that the EPA is living up to its mission by moving to implement strong standards for both new and existing oil and gas sources.

It is time for serious, historic climate action, and the Build Back Better Framework will put the U.S. on the path toward climate justice. As young Christians, we know that we do not have time to waste; our neighbors are suffering from the weight of climate change now, and our future is in danger.

This new report is alarming indeed, but we are not without hope. There is still time to act. Climate change is already hurting communities but there is much to be done to limit the worst impacts of our changing climate.

Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act with a bipartisan vote of 69-30. In addition to investments in roads and bridges, this bill includes investments in clean energy transmission, lead pipe removal, public transit, electric vehicle charging stations, reclaiming abandoned mines, and plugging orphaned gas wells.

The REVIVE the CCC Act plans to revitalize the CCC by placing unemployed or underemployed individuals in jobs that benefit the public. This bill seeks to “tackle the climate crisis while creating well-paying, quality conservation jobs that protect and restore waterways, working lands and the health and resiliency of our rural and urban communities.” This plan includes commitments to prioritize investments for frontline communities and to address environmental injustice. 

Today, the House of Representatives passed a resolution to reinstate vital Environmental Protection Agency methane safeguards. In April, the Senate passed a companion resolution with bipartisan support. 

It is time for climate justice. Young people are watching and we will not accept anything less.

In the wake of earth week, we are looking for ways to celebrate with a spirit of hope and inspiration by uplifting the stories of hope that we see in the world every day. We see hope for tomorrow through the bold work of our Climate Leadership Fellows.

We celebrate President Biden’s announcement of the United States’ ambitious new goal of achieving a 50-52% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. On day one of the new administration, President Biden fulfilled his promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement. This nationally determined contribution (NDC) will help get the U.S. on track to meet Paris Agreement targets and build a brighter future.

Holy week, in the Christian calendar, is just that: a HOLY week. This week, we collectively reflect on life, on death, and on resurrection. We begin the week with Palm Sunday: a vision of Jesus coming home upon a donkey, unexpectedly proclaiming his place in the city and his reign of peace. Hosanna, hosanna, the crowd cried, caught up in the joy of the crowd, waving palm branches.

Today, President Joe Biden formally introduced the American Jobs Plan as part of his “Build Back Better” plan to respond to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. This comprehensive plan seeks to address critical infrastructure needs, create well-paying jobs, invest in clean energy, build resilience against the impacts of the climate crisis, and address long standing economic and racial injustice. 

As followers of Christ, we must boldly address and uproot historic and ongoing injustices in the United States. The impacts of corporate pollution and climate change disproportionately impact Tribal and Indigenous communities, communities of color, and low-income communities. It is well past time to confront this reality and strive for a more just world in which all of God’s children have access to clean air and safe water. We cannot solve the climate crisis without caring for our neighbors and addressing environmental injustice, and that is why YECA applauds the introduction of the Environmental Justice for All Act by Rep. McEachin (D-VA), Rep. Grijalva (D-AZ), and Senator Duckworth (D-IL). 

YECA celebrates the recent introduction of the REPLANT Act, a bipartisan, bicameral effort to plant and regenerate over 1.2 billion trees over the next decade. 

Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA) welcomes Tori Goebel as the organization’s incoming National Organizer and Spokesperson. Tori has spent the last 4 years as Communications Director for YECA and the Evangelical Environmental Network, YECA’s partner ministry. During this time, she also served on YECA’s national steering committee. Tori brings a wealth of experience in political organizing and policy advocacy to the role, as well as professional communications and marketing skills.

This moment in our public life calls for leaders who protect and defend our democratic institutions, who tell the truth and repudiate lies, who advance the common good rather than their own self-interests, and who lead with wisdom and humility. Donald Trump has shown himself more clearly than ever to be woefully ill-equipped to rise to these standards. He must go now and never hold office again.

It is well past time for President Trump to acknowledge reality and cease the harmful rhetoric that is only sowing seeds of violence and cracking the very foundation of our democracy.

President-elect Biden must rejoin the Paris Agreement on January 20, and then do everything in his power every day thereafter to achieve the future that the Paris Agreement makes possible. We pledge to continue doing all we can to help, for the sake of God's good creation and our neighbor's good.

Climate activism is living, breathing faithfulness. Here at YECA we strive to be faithful every day in our climate action but can’t do it without your support. Please consider giving to YECA today!

So what does it mean to be “good”? What does it mean for God to call creation “good”? Imagine your favorite place in the natural world. Now imagine every little bit of it as good. The way the sun creates shadows in the grass. The variety of plants and creatures. The way you feel when you are there.

Environmentalism often has a reputation of emphasizing "doom and gloom" in its messaging. And while grief and anxiety are real and all too warranted in the era of climate change, Wendell Berry's poem reminds me of the value of joy as a Biblical fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5). In a Christian sense, joy doesn't simply mean being happy because of your circumstances, but rather a rejection of despair regardless of your circumstances. 

We are best able to bear witness to God when we act from a place of love, and acting on climate is no exception. In fact, acting on climate is one of the best ways to embody love for our neighbor and for God’s creation.

A stable climate requires a stable democracy. In the midst of significant challenges, the democratic process has worked. Tens of thousands of volunteers have painstakingly pored over ballots, international observers have praised the process as free and fair, election officials have done their jobs admirably, and the voters have spoken. While it will take time to fully certify all of the results, it is now clear that Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States.

As of January 2021, I will be leaving the position of National Organizer and Spokesperson at YECA.

YECA is a youth-led organization, and maintaining young leadership is not only critical for the integrity of YECA’s mission, but necessary for the vibrancy and efficacy of its programming. After 4 years in this role, I have officially aged out of our target audience (having turned 31 in June). Thankfully, new leadership is aging in every day.

The climate crisis is the greatest economic, public health, and existential threat of our time. However, if approached with respect for science and expert opinion, clear-eyed leadership, and creative vision, it can become our greatest opportunity. The recently released report from the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis does exactly this. In so doing, it provides a blueprint for a future marked not by loss, suffering, and despair, but by hope, justice, and full flourishing for all.

COVID-19 is spreading. This pandemic has spread to every part of the world; every single person is being affected by this sickness either directly or indirectly. When a sickness, even the common cold, starts to spread and the symptoms start showing up, people immediately go to the doctor. They immediately desire some relief, some healing, some help.  Our Earth has been showing symptoms of sickness for a while now. The beautiful Earth that God created is slowly dying right in front of our eyes. So why are people not jumping at the opportunity to keep our Earth safe and healthy?

In this uncertain time, our hearts go out to everyone who is suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic - from those who are ill or caring for loved ones, to those working on the frontlines in our communities, to those who are now without jobs or means to provide for their families. During these unprecedented and stressful times, these truths do not change: our ultimate hope is in the Resurrected Christ, his kingdom of justice and peace continue to break in all around us, and the evidence is everywhere once we have the eyes to see.

Over a dozen young evangelicals gathered outside the National Prayer Breakfast today to call on church leaders to act urgently to address the climate crisis. Organized by Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA), the demonstration highlighted an open letter, published in Religion News Service, written by 12 prominent young evangelicals and signed by hundreds more calling on National Prayer Breakfast attendees to include the climate crisis in their prayers and to turn their prayers into action when they return home.

Today, President Trump sent official confirmation to the U.N. Secretary-General of his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement includes virtually every nation in the world and is the first comprehensive roadmap for how the nations of the world will work together to mitigate and adapt to climate change. With the communication sent today, the U.S. will officially withdraw from the agreement on November 4, 2020.

Our friends at A Rocha recently released the following statement about a fatal car accident involving A Rocha international staff.

** Press statement: A Rocha International staff in fatal accident in South Africa

Today, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the bipartisan Market Choice Act, an ambitious plan to incentivize a free-market transition toward clean, renewable energy. The bill will significantly drive down greenhouse gas emissions, direct most of the revenue raised toward much-needed infrastructure investment, and ensure that low-income households are protected from related energy price increases.

On Friday, September 20, people from all corners of the world will join together for the largest climate demonstration in human history. This will be the start of a movement that will emphasize the importance of climate action throughout 2020 and beyond. Christians must play a critical role in the movement, providing the moral leadership to call for bold action in addressing the climate crisis. We have an opportunity to act on our Biblical values and join an international network demanding climate justice for all.

"I wish the announcement today that the Trump Administration will roll back crucial regulations curbing methane emissions came as a surprise. Instead, it is just the latest reminder that this administration has no interest in defending vulnerable populations, protecting God's creation, or safeguarding our generation's future. We'll spare a moment to lament this latest act of craven self-interest, and then we'll get back to work."

The Green New Deal has captured the imagination of the country and has catapulted climate change to a top 2020 election issue. It is the first time that our lawmakers have accurately captured the scale and scope of the climate crisis and offered a strong framework to both address its felt effects and to eradicate its root causes. As Christians, we recognize the biblical principles that are embedded in the Green New Deal’s many aspirations, including justice (Micah 6:8, Amos 5:24, Isaiah 1:17), neighbor-love (Matthew 22:34-40), and meaningful protection of the earth (Genesis 2:15). These are principles that Y.E.C.A. believes must be present in any future climate policy, and they are values that Christians and all people of good will can and must affirm.

This reflection was written by Christine Seibert, a Climate Leadership Fellow '17-'18, and a current member of our Steering Committee.

Today the Trump Administration finalized their new rule set to replace the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP was the first significant attempt made by the federal government to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants- a leading source of carbon pollution. The new rule, the Affordable Clean Energy Rule (ACE), would allow states to ease pollution rules and stop any progress being made under the CPP which was designed to reduce emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. ACE would, at most, reduce emissions by only 1.5%.

The Honorable Tim Walz
130 State Capitol
75 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155

Dear Governor Walz,

Melody Zhang, Steering Committee Co-Chair, will appear before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis today! This hearing is entitled "Generation Climate: Young Leaders Urge Climate Action Now" and you can learn more here. Below is her testimony!

On March 18th Melody Zhang and Tori Goebel spoke out at the EPA public hearing in D.C. on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). Mercury is a threat to our most vulnerable neighbors and MATS has saved more than 11,000 lives per year since its implementation. Melody and Tori both offered testimony about how our faith compels us steward creation, protect life, and to advocate for alternatives to fossil fuels. Check out their testimonies below to learn more!

Today, thousands of children across the world walked out of classrooms and demonstrated in the streets for stronger action from their governments to address climate change

Today, the U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to permanently head the agency. Wheeler had been serving as Acting Administrator since former head Scott Pruitt resigned in July 2018.

This reflection was written by Christine Seibert, a Climate Leadership Fellow '17-'18, and a current member of our Steering Committee.

Yesterday, President Trump nominated Andrew Wheeler to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Wheeler has been serving as Acting Administrator since former head Scott Pruitt resigned in July 2018.

Happy New Year! As you look ahead at a brand new year of faithful climate action, we invite you to take a look back at some of what we accomplished together in 2018.

For the first time in a decade, a bipartisan climate bill will be introduced in the U.S. Congress. Sponsored by two Republicans and three Democrats, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would put a price on carbon dioxide of $15/ton in its first year and would raise the price $10/ton every year until emissions targets are met. The revenue raised from this fee would then be returned back to the American people in the form of a dividend—or rebate—check.

Last week, the U.S. government released its most detailed report to date about the impacts that climate change is already visiting on American territory, citizens, and infrastructure. Originally commissioned by President Ronald Reagan and codified into law by Congress in 1990, the National Climate Assessment contains input from no fewer than 13 federal agencies. The 4th National Climate Assessment released last week is the product of the work of 300 scientists who conducted 40 regional workshops in 10 regions across the country with over 1,000 people.

On October 8, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a long-awaited report detailing the effects of a 1.5-degree C global temperature rise. The report was commissioned by the parties to the Paris Agreement. The body has typically used 2-degree C warming as its baseline, and this marks the first time it has explored the lower temperature threshold laid out in the Agreement. The report finds that contrary to prior assumptions, a 1.5-degree C warmer world still presents dire consequences, particularly for ecosystems and people living near coasts, on islands, and in poverty. However, the report also finds that a 1.5-degree C warmer world is significantly less dangerous than a 2-degree C warmer world, and must be pursued vigorously.

© 2021 Young Evangelicals for Climate Action

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