The state of our air, land and water is at stakeRecently, ELCA Bishop John Schleicher of the North/West Lower Michigan Synod wrote to the Saginaw (MI) News explaining why, as a person of faith, he supports the Clean Air Act and why, as a church, the ELCA cares about environmental issues. 

He writes, “[t]he ELCA has long lifted up the care of God’s creation as an important component of our reverence and gratitude toward God, and our love and service to those in need. We see this as a moral and justice-laden responsibility, undertaken with humility and hope.” Read the rest of Bishop Schleicher’s letter here.

This week some members of Congress are trying to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing new rules for industrial sources under the Clean Air Act.  These rules are designed to deal with emissions that are contributing to climate change and poor air quality in our communities. 

The Clean Air Act has made our communities cleaner and safer and has protected our health for more than 40 years. But today we face new challenges such as climate change and rising rates of asthma in our children.

As we face these new challenges, laws like the Clean Air Act are there to help us meet them and develop new technologies for protecting the health of our communities. 

Critics argue the new regulations will harm the bottom line of companies and cost jobs.   This argument is based on the premise that we must choose between economic growth and the health of our communities, a premise that has proven false many times over the 40 year history of the Clean Air Act. 

From scrubbers on power plant smokestacks to catalytic converters on cars, innovations spurred by Clean Air Act regulations have created new business opportunities while allowing industry throughout our nation to thrive.  But even more importantly, our air is cleaner and our people are healthier because of the Clean Air Act.