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Barbara Weinstein: "Our Reform Jewish values call on us to be stewards of the Earth, not just for our own benefit but also for the well-being of the generations that will succeed us. The EPA's new Tier 3 standards to reduce carbon pollution brings the nation closer to achieving this goal."
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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 3, 2014 - In response to the EPA's announcement of new Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Standards, Barbara Weinstein, Director of the Commission on Social Action and Associate Director of the Religious Action Center, issued the following statement:
"The EPA's finalized rule setting stricter emissions standards for cars and trucks and reducing pollution marks a significant step forward in reducing the dangerous effects of vehicle emissions on the environment and public health. We commend the Obama Administration and the leadership of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for this effort to cut pollution from vehicles and we look forward to the full implementation of these standards in 2017.
The Tier 3 standards, which would reduce air pollution from passenger cars and trucks and lower the sulfur content of gasoline, will safeguard the air we breathe and mitigate the effects of climate change. The EPA estimates that by 2030, Tier 3 standards will prevent up to 2,000 premature deaths and 50,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children. Further, we know congested roadways and traffic pollution disproportionately overburden many low-income and urban communities and the new standards will help lessen this impact for members of these communities and others.
Our Jewish tradition's rich teachings about our responsibility to the planet and all of its inhabitants are reflected in the Midrash when God implores, "Do not corrupt or destroy my world; for if you corrupt it, there will be no one to set it right after you" (Kohelet Rabbah7:13). Our Reform Jewish values call on us to be stewards of the Earth, not just for our own benefit but also for the well-being of the generations that will succeed us. The EPA's new Tier 3 standards to reduce carbon pollution brings the nation closer to achieving this goal.
We applaud the EPA for this much-needed step towards a cleaner and healthier environment and look forward to continuing to support the agency's efforts to combat climate change, a pressing environmental and social justice issue of our time."