September meeting Minutes

Creation Care Meeting September 10, 2014

Present: Ellen Davis, Ann Kieffer, Esther Pardue, Len Pardue, Cam Murchison, Julie  Lehman, Jane Laping

New Fracking Rules

The Mining and Energy Commission will hold a public hearing about new state fracking rules on September 12. The hearing will be at WCU in Cullowhee at the Ramsey Center, 92 Catamount Road, from 5:00 – 9:00PM. Jane will attend and intends to give oral comments.Asheville area folks who would like to carpool are invited to meet up at Westgate Earth Fare.

The public comment period ends September 30 and comments can be made on-line. NRDC has a letter on-line that you can send to the Mining and Energy Commission. 

New Carbon Rules for Existing Power Plants

EPA has proposed new carbon emission limits for existing power plants. The comment deadline is October 16 and comments can be madeon-line. LWV has an on-line letter that you can send to the EPA.

Everyone present agreed to ask church-goers to sign a paper petition on Sunday, October 5. Jane will have copies of the petition/letter and everyone should bring a clipboard. Jane will collect the petitions that day and send them to the EPA.

Divestment Faith Development Series

At our last meeting in March, we talked about hosting a series of four classes on divestment in the fall. Jane has been in conversation with Nancy McNeil and she thinks that the winter would be a better time for our series. We discussed content for the following class topics.

  1. What is fossil fuel divestment and why should Christians care? Review the theology of why Presbyterians should care about the earth and why we should support divestment. Describe the fossil fuel and other divestment movements. Name organizations that have divested from fossil fuels. Possible leaders – Cam Murchison and Warren Wilson students
  1. Fossil fuel divestment in PC(USA) and other denominations. Review history of divestment in PC(USA) and Fossil Free PC USA. Describe successful movements in other denominations. Discuss Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI), Board of Pensions (BOP), and the Presbyterian Foundation.  Possible leaders – Dan Terpstra, Fossil Free PC USA
  1. Divestment at First Presbyterian. Identify FPC investments, including the Endowment, and amount invested in fossil fuels, if any. If invested in fossil fuels, determine if there is interest in asking the session to consider divesting. Possible leaders – Lucy Keil and Ron Freeman
  1. Personal divestment/reinvestment – Discuss pros and cons of divestment. Describe process of determining if a portfolio contains fossil fuel investments. Identify reinvestment options including socially responsible investments. Possible leader – investment professionals (Laura Webb, Joel Adams)

Climate March Sept 21 in New York City

The Climate March is building up to be a major event and the bus from Asheville to NYC is already sold out. The organizers have developed many activities for people who cannot attend, one of which is a 350 second (5 minutes 50 seconds) sound off at 1:00 PM on Sept 21. Since our church has a bell tower but no bells in it, Cam offered his wife, Joan, to organize a handbell chorus at that time. Jane will ask the Creation Care Alliance of WNC to promote it through their email list and ask churches to ring their bells and also to notify the media.

Next meeting will be after the holidays, most likely in January.