As part of our year of advocacy, the Creation Care Task Force is taking immediate action to stop the Keystone XL pipeline that will transport millions of barrels of tar sands oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast and then to overseas markets. Up to ten times as many greenhouse gases are produced from developing and burning oil from tar sands as from conventional oil. Without the Keystone pipeline, it would not be economical for the tar sands industry to expand. Protect God’s creation and let your voice be heard.  Submit your comments to the Presidential Permit Applications on  The public comment period for this northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline ends on March 7, 2014. Six resources to help you write and send your comments are listed below.

1. Sign a letter to President Obama from a faith-based perspective asking him to reject the Keystone pipeline and lead a global clean energy revolution.

2. Send comments to President Obama and the State Department in a short and direct request stating that the evidence supports rejecting the Keystone pipeline

3. Alberta Tar Sands Video (15 min) documents the destructive effects of mining for tar sands on the Canadian Boreal Forest in Alberta.


4. Keystone protest vigil (60 minutes) Held at First Presbyterian Church, this video is a recording of the speeches and songs heard by the 150 who attended the quickly put-together event on February 3, 2014.


5. Sample letter from

President Obama said that Keystone XL would not be in our national interest if it significantly impacted the climate. The evidence is in: an 830,000 barrel per day pipeline will allow big oil to dig up, refine and burn more tar sands than they could with any other available options. We can either have Keystone XL, or a safe and livable climate — ‘all of the above’ is not an option, and the President must reject the pipeline.


6. Sample letter from Interfaith Power and Light:


Dear President Obama,
We were gratified to hear your concern about climate change as expressed so eloquently in your inaugural address and State of the Union. As people of faith, we share your conviction that we are commanded by God to care for our planet and that the failure to respond to the threat of climate change would betray our children and future generations. It is in agreement with those statements that we, representing the broad and diverse faith groups who support you, write to share our concern over the proposed Keystone tar sands pipeline.

Tar sands oil is extracted in a resource-intensive process that destroys the boreal forests of Canada and emits three times the carbon pollution as conventional oil. Building this pipeline would facilitate the production of billions more gallons of tar sands oil, and poses an unnecessary risk to the communities along the nearly 1,000 miles through which the pipeline would pass.

According to the National Climate Assessment report, produced by thirteen federal agencies to advise the Administration and Congress in policy making, climate change will have severe impacts on ecosystems, infrastructure, and human health if we continue on the current path of heavy fossil fuel consumption. Numerous other studies produced by agencies from the National Academy of Sciences to the Pentagon, have found that global climate change represents an environmental and security threat to our nation.

The state department is charged with approving or denying the permit to build a pipeline based on whether it is in our national interest. According to your Administration’s research as referenced above, it is not.

Therefore, we urge you to reject the proposed Keystone Pipeline and instead commit our nation to leading the global clean energy revolution. As you have said, we must not cede this leadership to other nations. Let this moment be a turning point in American history, when we reject the polluting and dangerous energy sources of the past and move decisively toward a bright and prosperous future. Let this be your lasting legacy.

We pray for you as you make your decision and ask that you consider our children’s future, our climate, and all of God’s Creation.


Send Comments to EPA by March 10

Thanks to all those who signed valentine postcards encouraging Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan to support environmental safeguards to combat global warming pollution.  If you want to do more, below are three more ways that you can influence the EPA’s decision to limit carbon dioxide emissions from future fossil fuel-fired power plants, including coal and natural gas. The EPA is accepting public comment about this first-ever carbon pollution standard until March 10. The Creation Care Team will be providing more education and advocacy activities in the future about faithful responses to environmental destruction.

Send a pre-written e-mail to the EPA, or revise it to make it personal. Below are links to three on-line opportunities that make it easy for you to submit comments.

From Earth Justice       From Interfaith Power & Light     From Sierra Club

2. Write your own letter to have more impact. DETAILS HERE

3. Read the opinion editorial by Representative Susan Fisher and other state representatives about the carbon limits for future power plants DETAILS HERE

Write/Email the Citizen-Times

Read what Representative Susan Fisher and other state representatives have to say about the carbon limits for future power plants in their opinion editorial (see below). Pay special attention to their comments about Secretary John Skvarla, head of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Form your opinion and then write a letter to the editor that is no more than 200 words and e-mail to or submit online

Climate threat is real, state’s response sad

The science on climate change is settled. It is happening and pollution from burning fossil fuels is a big part of the cause. Scientists from the U.S. and around the world are confident that manmade pollution is causing the Earth’s climate to change. Here in North Carolina, we’ve already begun to feel the impacts. Sea levels are rising, making coastal storms more destructive and threatening to leave the Outer Banks underwater.

Last summer, massive flooding and extreme weather took lives and destroyed crops and property all across the state. North of Charlotte, flooding along the Catawba River was some of the worst in 70 years. It is these extreme weather events that scientists warn could become even more frequent and severe if we do not reduce our global warming pollution.

As these extreme weather events threaten our communities and health today, it will be future generations who will pay the real price of our inaction. With carbon persisting in our atmosphere for thousands of years, our continued dumping of carbon pollution may leave a world that will be much different than our own.

Thankfully, efforts are underway to limit the pollution fueling climate change. EPA introduced a rule to regulate carbon pollution from new power plants. This coming June they are expected to introduce a similar rule to regulate carbon from existing power plants. Given that power plants are the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution, accounting for 40 percent of the total carbon pollution in the country, this is a critical step toward mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Here in North Carolina, that percentage is even greater with power plants accounting for more than half of the state’s total carbon pollution. This should come as no surprise since North Carolina is home to five of the 50 dirtiest power plants in the country.

With thousands of tons of toxic coal ash now flowing through the Dan River after it was spilled from a coal ash pond two weeks ago, we were reminded that our reliance on coal and fossil fuels in general doesn’t just fuel global warming but poses multiple threats to our environment and health. As the damage is assessed, we begin to understand that these threats are both immediate and long term.

One would hope that those charged with protecting North Carolina’s environment would be among the first to embrace these efforts. Unfortunately, Secretary John Skvarla, head of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, recently sent a letter to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy questioning the Obama administration’s standing to limit the carbon pollution that is fueling climate change. While we are not surprised, we cannot help but be disappointed. Unlike Skvarla, we see the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate carbon pollution as an opportunity, not a hindrance.

Limiting the impacts of climate change means our coastal and mountain communities can continue to be tourist destinations, bringing billions of dollars into our economy. It means our Christmas tree farms can continue growing trees that are exported all around the country. It means our children will not have to pay the price of a climate much different than our own.

Moving away from fossil fuels can also create new jobs in industries like solar and offshore wind. North Carolina is uniquely positioned to take advantage of these types of opportunities. We have more offshore wind potential than any Atlantic state. In fact, according to a study by UNC, we have enough offshore wind potential to power our entire state.

And North Carolina is leading the way on solar power. Last year our state ranked second in terms of solar capacity added, beating sun-drenched states like Arizona and Nevada. Jobs in the clean energy industry were up 20 percent when compared to 2012 and companies like FLS, Sundance Systems and Strata, which install solar panels throughout the state, are increasing their workforce to keep up with the growing demand for clean energy.

Instead of hindering efforts at protecting our health and environment and growing our clean energy economy, Skvarla should champion efforts to regulate carbon pollution, and help North Carolina take advantage of this new energy economy.

North Carolina has a choice, we can keep our heads in the sand and deny climate change, or we can seize the opportunities it presents us. Given our history of innovation and entrepreneurism, it seems a shame that Skvarla has decided to choose the former.

Rep. Susan Fisher, D-114, represents Buncombe County; Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-57, represents Guilford County; Rep. Rick Glazier, D-44, represents Cumberland County.

Write Your Own Letter/examples:

Writing your own letter has an even greater impact, but do what you can. Information about where to send your letter and sample letters follow.

To send your own comments on the proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants to the EPA, click here.

Sample Letters to send to the EPA:

  • Every letter should start with Attn: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0495 and
  • Dear Environmental Protection Agency,
  • Sign with your name, city, state, and zip code

From Earth Justice:

  • I strongly support the EPA’s effort to limit industrial carbon pollution from new power plants.
  • These new clean air standards will protect public health, fight climate change and create jobs and innovation in industries crucial to our competitiveness globally. I urge you to strengthen the standard for large natural gas plants and resist pressure from the polluters to weaken your proposed standard for coal plants. It’s our obligation to protect our communities, as well as our children and future generations, from the effects of climate change.

From Inter faith Power and Light:

  • As a person of faith, I believe it is our moral responsibility, for the benefit of our neighbors and children’s future, to care for all that has been entrusted to us.
  • I urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move forward with the proposed safeguards for new power plants so that we can reduce carbon pollution as quickly as possible to address climate change, protect human health, and care for all of Creation.
  • The Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) community is working to make congregations models of energy stewardship and to lead by example. But our actions alone will not be enough, as power plants are responsible for 40% of carbon pollution.
  • I support Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants.

Unknown source:

  • I applaud the EPA for developing standards to limit carbon pollution from new power plants and strongly support the EPA’s effort to enforce these standards.
  • As a person of faith, I strongly believe that we have a moral obligation to protect and restore God’s creation for future generations. These new clean air standards will be a right step in that direction. They will protect public health, fight climate change and create jobs and innovation in industries crucial to our competitiveness globally.
  • I urge you to resist pressure from the polluters to weaken your proposed standard for coal plants and to strengthen the standard for large natural gas plants. It’s our obligation to protect our communities, as well as our children and future generations, from the effects of climate change.

Keystone Pipeline Vigil: 2.3.14



The goal of these nationwide vigils is to send a clear message to President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. This event was quickly put together after the State Department announced on Friday that they could find no significant environmental impacts of the pipeline from the Environmental Impact Statement.



One more thing you can do is to send an individual message to President Obama asking him to reject the Keystone pipeline.  Interfaith Power and Light makes it very easy for you. Just Click here to stand with Interfaith Power & Light and tell President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all. Be sure to enter your e-mail and not mine!

The No KXL protest vigils are organized by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club,, The Other 98%, Center for Biological Diversity, Oil Change International, Bold Nebraska, Energy Action Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Hip Hop Caucus, Overpass Light Brigade, Environmental Action, League of Conservation Voters, Waterkeeper Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Forest Ethics, Forecast the Facts, and others.

Thanks to each one of you for speaking out about this critical decision,