Given the threats to major environmental and climate protections we are facing in Washington, local leadership on climate and clean energy matters now more than ever.
CIPL, our regional working groups, and member congregations are working to ensure our state’s historic commitment to the health of our planet is reflected in air quality provisions, our cities legal actions and local community energy programs. CIPL congregations around the state hosted a dozen first 100-hour inaugural earth vigils, fairs and forums including communities in Isla Vista, Placerville, Berkeley and Palo Alto. Many also attended Women’s Marches from Eureka to Santa Ana, as well as large cities like Sacramento, LA, Oakland, and San Francisco. The Rev. Canon Sally Bingham attended the Women’s March in San Francisco with a large contingent from Grace Cathedral.
January 30, 2017 — A full day of Bay Area Climate Leadership
January 30th for Bay Area Californians of faith turned out to be a significant day of local climate action:
- Keeping tar sands oil out of the Bay: CIPL staff and Contra Costa working group leaders Jan Warren and Aubrey Albrecht stood in support of a strong refinery-wide cap (Rule 12-16) at a Bay Area Air Quality Management Stationary Source Committee meeting in San Francisco. The cap will also prevent dirty and dangerous tar sands oil from being brought through the bay for processing.
- Protecting Oakland’s ban on a coal export terminal: Pastor Ken Chambers of West Side Missionary Baptist Church spoke up for the rights of communities to protect themselves from the health and safety threats of coal transport and handling in Oakland and condemning a developer’s lawsuit against the city.
- Greening the East Bay Grid: Interfaith Power & Light’s Executive Director attended the launch of East Bay Community Energy in Hayward to urge a 100 percent clean energy target, local build out, and community representation on the governing board.
California Interfaith Power & Light staff delivered a letter to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Stationary Source Committee meeting urging evaluation and passage of Rule 12-16, the Community-Worker proposal for caps on refinery emissions. The language of the resolution being considered reads: “Rule 12-16 will set an enforceable numeric cap on each refinery’s cumulative greenhouse gas, particulate and toxic emissions and will prohibit Bay Area refineries from processing significantly increased amounts of these extreme dirty crudes and will require controls to prevent increased emissions, thereby reducing the harm to Bay Area residents from dangerous emissions and limiting the amount of greenhouse gases that trigger catastrophic climate disruption.” Just as we oppose the Keystone Pipeline, we also oppose the transport and refining of these dirtiest of fossil fuels from the shores of San Francisco Bay. The Source Committee Chair, Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, told the packed hearing room mostly supporters of Rule 12-16, that the provision would stay on schedule to be considered by the full board in May rather than be delayed as the committee considers alternatives.
Mid-day on January 30th, Pastor Ken Chambers of CIPL member congregation West Side Missionary Baptist Church spoke at a press conference condemning a lawsuit brought by an Oakland developer that could if successful inhibit communities throughout the nation from protecting themselves from environmental and health disasters. Interfaith Power & Light Executive Director and Oakland resident Susan Stephenson offered the following statement on the Tagami lawsuit against the City of Oakland:
“As an Oakland resident and leader of faith communities committed to responsible climate action, I am profoundly troubled by Phil Tagami’s decision to sue our city for banning coal from our community and protecting the health and safety of our common home. What kind of neighbor would want to inflict suffering and harm on our region’s vulnerable residents, children, the elderly, people with respiratory illnesses? What kind of global citizen would want to undermine any community’s ability to pursue health and environmental protections? California Interfaith Power & Light represents tens of thousands of people of faith and we urge our neighbor Phil Tagami to drop this outrageous lawsuit and instead work with us to build a robust and inclusive green economy in Oakland.”
Also on the evening of January 30th at Hayward City Hall California Interfaith Power & Light Susan Stephenson attended the swearing in of the Authority Board of East Bay Community Energy, Alameda County’s new Community Choice energy program. California Interfaith Power & Light urged the board to pursue a 100% renewable energy target with local clean energy build-outs and strong community representation on the governing of the program.
Much action is happening throughout California as we seek to protect and build on our state’s historic climate leadership in the face of the unprecedented challenges before us and our common home posed by the Trump regime. Stay tuned for a report on CIPL network actions in LA, Fresno, and Sacramento.