132 Faith Organizations Sign Letter Against the Rollback of Environmental Safeguards

President Donald J. Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Andrew R. Wheeler
Acting Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

The Honorable Ryan K. Zinke
U.S. Department of Interior
1100 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20242

October 30, 2018

Dear Mr. President, Acting Administrator Wheeler, and Secretary Zinke,

As faith organizations representing diverse faith traditions, we are united across theological lines by our commitment to care for and be stewards of all of God’s creation and our call to serve vulnerable communities. We believe that it is the moral responsibility of our nation, and our sacred task as people of faith, to protect our ecosystems, work for environmental justice, and address climate change.

Unfortunately, the actions of the Trump Administration decidedly ignore this responsibility. By undermining and weakening our country’s ability to protect our environment and address climate change, the United States government has taken a backseat in this time of ecological crisis.

At the outset of this current administration, faith communities outlined to the Administration our shared principles of stewardship, sustainability, justice, and dialogue, as well as environmental policy recommendations that adhered to these principles. Unfortunately, these principles and policy recommendations have not been heeded. Instead, we have seen the senseless rollback of over 70 crucial environmental safeguards. With each environmental safeguard that is unraveled, our moral standing as a nation is diminished. The result is direct harm to the environment and vulnerable communities—communities that we serve and of which we are members.

The rollback of methane waste prevention rules, clean car standards, and the Clean Power Plan will increase greenhouse gas and carbon pollution. The rollback of existing Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will expose our most vulnerable communities, including pregnant women, children, people of color, and people with disabilities, to harmful toxins like mercury, arsenic, and lead. These pollutants pose serious harm to people’s health, with the EPA’s own projections showing that these rollbacks combined could cause the premature deaths of up to 13,900 Americans annually. Exposure to these pollutants will increase asthma and allergy attacks, especially among young children, and heart attacks, especially among seniors.

These rollbacks will also exacerbate the impacts of climate change, impacts which multiply the frequency and severity of extreme weather at home and abroad. Storms like Hurricane Florence will take more lives and destroy more property, rising sea levels in places like southern Louisiana and Alaska will displace more communities, and desertification in places like the Pacific and the Rocky Mountain regions will deplete precious resources like water.

The rollback of the Clean Water Rule will pollute community drinking water and valuable aquatic ecosystems. Weakening how the government administers the Endangered Species Act will contribute to the extinction of species and loss of cherished biodiversity. Reducing the size of national monuments will desecrate sacred spaces and weaken the economic vitality of the communities that live nearby.

These decisions are profound and their consequences will be felt for years to come, burdening future generations that we have a moral responsibility to provide for. Through these rollbacks, federal agencies are putting both American lives and the international community at risk. As faith communities we ask that this ill-fated course be reversed and that this administration return to a regulatory path that is in line with principles of stewardship, sustainability, and justice.


Adrian Dominican Sisters, Portfolio Advisory Board
Alliance of Baptists
American Conference of Cantors
American Jewish World Service
Blauvelt Dominican Sisters
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Christian Reform Church Office of Social Justice
Church of God (IN)
Church World Service
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Conference of Superiors of Men
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces
Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes
Congregation of St. Joseph
Congregation of St. Joseph Justice Team
Creation Justice Ministries
Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise
Disciples Center for Public Witness
Dominican Sisters of Sparkill
Eco-Justice Ministries
Ecumenical Poverty Initiative
Environmental Justice Ministry of the United Church of Christ
Faith in Public Life
Franciscan Action Network
Franciscan Sisters of the Poor
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
Interfaith Power & Light
Islamic Society of North America
Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Lutherans Restoring Creation
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Men of Reform Judaism
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Council of Churches
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement
Order of Ecumencial Franciscans
PC(USA) Washington Office of Public Witness
Quaker Earthcare Witness
Seventh Generation Interfaith Inc.
Sisters of Charity, BVM, Shareholder Education and Advocacy
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Congregational Leadership
Sisters of Mary Reparatrix
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Institute Leadership Team
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur USA
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
Sisters of the Holy Cross
Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth
Sisters of the Presentation of Mary
Sisters of Saint Anne
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist for Social Justice
Unitarian Universalist Ministry For Earth
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
United Church of Christ, Justice and WItness Ministries
Women of Reform Judaism
Young Evangelicals for Climate Action

Arizona Interfaith Power & Light

Franciscans for Justice

Colorado Interfaith Power and Light

Collaborative Center for Justice

Delaware Interfaith Power & Light

Temple Solel

Georgia Interfaith Power & Light

Faith in Place / Illinois Interfaith Power & Light
Jubilee Farm

Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light

Iowa Interfaith Power & Light
Sisters of the Presentation

Leadership, Ursuline Sisters of Louisville
Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Leadership

Maine Sisters of Mercy Justice Committee
Maine Council of Churches

Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA)

Jewish Climate Action Network
Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light
Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston

Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids
IHM Sisters Justice, Peace and Sustainability Office

Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light
Rochester, Minnesota Franciscan Leadership Team

Missouri Interfaith Power & Light
Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community
SSJ Earth Center

Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light
Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community

New Jersey
Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment

New Mexico
New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light
Norbertine Community of New Mexico
Office of Life, Peace, Justice and Creation Stewardship
Partnership for Earth Spirituality

New York
New York Interfaith Power & Light
Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul of New York
Jewish Climate Action Network NYC

North Carolina
Global Leaders in Unity and Evolvement
North Carolina Council of Churches
Sisters of Mercy South Central Community

Faith Communities Together for a Sustainable Future (FaCT)
Ohio Council of Churches
Ohio Interfaith Power & Light
Province of St. John the Baptist
Region VI Coalition for Responsible Investment
Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania OH
Ursuline Sisters of Cincinnati

Oregon Interfaith Power & Light

Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA
Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, PA
Sisters of the Humility of Mary
Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network

Rhode Island
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Northeast Community

Columban Mission Center

Vermont Interfaith Power and Light

Virginia Interfaith Power & Light

Earth Ministry / Washington Interfaith Power & Light

West Virginia
West Virginia Council of Churches
WV Interfaith Power and Light

Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin
Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross USA Province
Wisconsin Council of Churches
Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light