Creation Justice Ministries Co-Executive Director offered this public comment at a January 12 EPA hearing on stronger Methane pollution standards:
Good afternoon, my name is Avery Lamb, I am a Co-Executive Director of Creation Justice Ministries. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. The mission of Creation Justice Ministries is to educate, equip and mobilize Christians to protect, restore, and rightly share God's creation. Through our 38 denominational and communion members, Creation Justice Ministries serves about 100,000 churches and 45 million people in the United States. On behalf of these communities, I applaud the work of the EPA in strengthening methane standards and implore you: don’t stop here. There’s more to be done.
I want to start with a story that we Christians share with our Jewish neighbors, found in the opening chapters of the Hebrew Bible. In the creation story of Genesis 2, we read about the creation of the first human. God took a clump of soil, and breathed into it the breath of life, creating Adam. This word for breath – translated from the Hebrew word ruach – is so much more than just the air that comes from our lungs. It also means the air and wind blowing around us. It also means the spirit of life. The use of the word in this story unveils a reality that we have also come to see scientifically: the breath in our own lungs is the same breath in the lungs of the world. Inevitably, whatever is put into the lungs of the world will move through the lungs of humans.
In this first act of God in Genesis 2, life is created through the exhalation of breath. Breath – ruach – is life. It doesn’t take us long without breath to understand that. And yet, for millions of people, the breath of life and wellness has become the breath of sickness and death.
Is breath life or death?
We know that the emission of methane causes manifold health issues for people who by the simple reality of where they live or work, have to breathe it in.
Is breath life or death?
We know that the emission of methane causes manifold issues for the lungs of the world – driving the patterns of record-breaking rain and wind that destroy the people and places we love.
…is breath life or death?
We know that the emission of methane causes manifold health issues for our communities. The EPA has the opportunity to protect the lungs of people and the planet. The question is clear: will the EPA continue working to ensure breath is life?
We know that we can take action to ensure that breath is life. On behalf of our communities, I am grateful for the work being done by your agency to protect the lungs of people and the planet, particularly by ensuring regular inspections occur at all sites and maintaining strong requirements to use zero-emitting technologies. Thank you.
Still, there is more to be done. There are other steps the EPA can take to protect our people:
First, I ask the EPA to limit the wasteful and dangerous practice of routine flaring.
Second, better address emissions from storage tanks.
Finally, provide a clear pathway for participation in the Super Emitter Response Program.
We have the opportunity to protect the lungs of people and the planet. The question is clear: will the EPA continue working to ensure breath is life, or will you stop here?
About this Blog
This blog shares the activities of Creation Justice Ministries. We educate and equip Christians to protect, restore, and rightly share God's creation.