On September 9th, 2020 Laudato Si’ Ministries of the Diocese of Joliet co-sponsored a virtual town hall on the Clean Energy Jobs Act with Sen. Michael Hastings (IL Senate 19), chairman of the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee. Mrs. Mary Meyers, a parishioner at the Catholic Community of St. Jude in New Lenox, IL, member of the Diocese of Joliet’s Laudato Si’ Committee, and constituent of Sen. Michael Hastings made public comments at the townhall, from the Catholic prospective. See a full text of her statement below:
“Thank you for allowing me to speak on this important issue.
As a Catholic Christian, I make choices based on our Church’s social teaching and I am pleased that this bill addresses, in some way, each of the 7 tenets of Catholic Social Teaching. The bill was developed with the input of many communities in Illinois. It considers the dignity of each person, no matter where they live and assures that their rights will be protected. At its core, it protects the poor and vulnerable, providing jobs and equitable services. Some of the ways this will happen in their communities are:
- $2 billion will be invested in low income and environmental justice communities
- Increased energy efficiency will save them money and provide jobs for retrofitting, etc.
- Solar and Electric Vehicles available for all
- Health and Safety Fund, will eliminate walking away from existing problems, like mold
- These communities will be prioritized for renewable energy development
- Because of the location of their communities, they will benefit more than most from the reduction of carbon from the power sector and the reduction of transportation pollution
- Communities affected by the closing of fossil fuel plants will see: investment in new businesses, workers will receive support for continued health care coverage, workers will receive help finding a new job, or a job for those who didn’t have one, they will benefit from tax base replacement for up to 5 years to cover the lost tax revenues from the closed plants.
And beyond this future generations, which includes my grandchildren, will benefit from everything that we do now to protect the earth and all of its inhabitants.”
If you want to get involved and advocate for the Clean Energy Jobs Act contact Ms. Kayla S. Jacobs, Director of Programs of Laudato Si’ Ministries, at: firstname.lastname@example.org