Clean Power Plan Opportunity for Lawmakers to Respond to Pope’s Moral Vision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2015

CONTACT: Jacob Swenson-Lengyel,, 312.316.3973

Clean Power Plan Opportunity for Lawmakers to Respond to Pope’s Moral Vision

As Pope Francis arrives for his first visit to the United States today at the White House, and addresses Congress tomorrow, many expect that he will use the opportunity to exhort U.S. officials to take action on climate change ahead of the Paris Climate talks. In his landmark encyclical on climate change earlier this year, the Pope urged world leaders to find policy solutions to reduce carbon emissions while also alleviating poverty.

George Goehl, Executive Director of National People's Action, issued the following statement regarding the Pope's visit:

“As Pope Francis has said, ‘We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.’ Unfortunately it’s another crisis, inaction and obstruction from lawmakers in Washington and statehouses across the country, that threatens to do the most harm. The Clean Power Plan presents an ideal opportunity for lawmakers to apply the Pope’s moral call to address climate change and economic inequality together. By creating plans that lift the poor, while saving the planet, lawmakers can lower utility rates, create quality jobs, and decrease pollution that causes devastating health problems. In effect, by heeding the pope’s call, lawmakers can jumpstart a new, more equitable, green economy.”

National People’s Action is running its People and Planet First Campaign in cities and states across the country to make sure those most impacted by the climate crisis are top priority when it comes to crafting CPP state implementation plans and do not, as the pope has commented, “remain at the bottom of the pile.”

For more information, or to interview George Goehl, please contact Jacob Swenson-Lengyel at 312.316.3973 or

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National People's Action is a network of 29 grassroots organizations in 18 states working together to advance a racial and economic justice agenda for a new economy and true democracy.