Logo

Action Center

Environmental justice cannot wait. Tell the White House to limit pollutants like soot, carbon, and mercury.
Through the Reform Movement’s Power for Purpose Campaign, we are urging the Biden administration to quickly finalize strong standards to limit soot, mercury, and carbon pollution.  Climate change is an existential threat, disproportionately affecting communities of color. The planet is warming, and people are breathing dirty air and drinking dirty water because of pollutants like soot, carbon, and mercury. If we don’t act now, we will allow continued pollution to threaten people’s health and rising temperatures to increase floods, droughts, fires, and more until the world fundamentally changes. We have the tools we need to save lives today and care for future generations. The White House made significant cuts to climate pollution in 2022 but can and must do more to achieve their goal of cutting pollution in half by 2030. Through this campaign, we can move the Biden administration to limit harmful chemicals like soot, carbon, and mercury. As of August 8, the comment periods for regulations on soot, mercury, and carbon are closed, so it is up to the Biden administration to quickly finalize strong regulations.

Background

We are facing an urgent moment around public health, climate change, and environmental justice. Pollutants such as soot, smog, carbon, and mercury contaminate our air and water, impacting the health and safety of our communities. These pollutants cause a range of health problems, including asthma, respiratory diseases, birth defects, and more. Communities of Color are disproportionately impacted, as Black Americans breathe air that is 38 percent more polluted than the air that white people breathe, and Black children are five times likelier to be hospitalized for asthma than white children. 

These pollutants are also byproducts of burning fossil fuels, which contribute to global warming and cause sea level rise, fires, droughts, and extreme weather events. According to the latest UN climate report, we are less than one-half the degree of global warming away from the world changing as we know it. President Biden and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan are currently considering several standards to limit these pollutants. By advancing strong standards, they can stop these harmful chemicals from causing serious health issues today and avoid the worst devastation climate change could cause. In the face of efforts to slow down or weaken standards, it is up to us to call on them to act now. 

Jewish Values

In the Garden of Eden, God tells Adam and Eve, “Take care not to spoil or destroy My world, for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you” (Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13). This text speaks to the urgency of this moment, when swift action can save millions of lives from the devastation caused by climate pollution. In the Talmud, we learn that all people are descended from a single being so that no person can say, “my ancestor is greater than yours.” (Sanhedrin 37a). Systemic racial oppression is a sin that violates the sacred tenet of equality between people; this continued sin endures through legacies of environmental injustice and racism. As people of faith, we are obliged to stop this intersectional injustice and ensure a more equitable and moral future.  

For More Information

For more information on this issue, visit the RAC’s issue page on the environment and climate change or contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Noe Granados at 202-387-2800.

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to receive emails from the RAC and URJ. You can manage your preferences at any time.

    Subject
    Message Body
    Post
    Suggested Message
    Post
    Remaining: 0
  • Hide
    • Please call this number:

      Please do not close this window. You will need to come back to this window to enter your code.
      We just sent an email to ... containing a verification code.

      If you do not see the email within the next five minutes, please ensure you entered the correct email address and check your spam/junk mail folder.
      Enter Your Info
      Your Information
      Home Information
      Other Information
      Type your congregation's city or name to find it on the dropdown menu (if applicable).
      *

      Enter Your Info