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White House CEQ Meets with NRCCC October 17,2023

The day following the Prayer Breakfast, a dozen citizens met with theWhite House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to propose a climate initiative. CEQ advises the President and develops policies on climate change, environmental justice, federal sustainability, public lands, oceans, and wildlife conservation, among other areas. As the agency responsible for implementing NEPA, CEQ also works to ensure that environmental reviews for infrastructure projects and federal actions are thorough, efficient, and reflect the input of the public and local communities.

JalonneWhite-Newsome, CEQ Assistant Director, and other staff graciously met with us. Fred Krueger, Santa Rosa, California, introduced the organization and its purpose of bringing the formal positions from religious organizations to the Congress and The White House.

Some of the high points follow:

  1. Dr. RichardMiller, from Omaha, Nebraska, opened the meeting by thanking the administration for ushering through the Congress the most significant federal climate and clean energy legislation in U.S. history (IRA). Unfortunately, we are now in a climate emergency, “11,000 scientist signatories from around the world” have “clearly and unequivocally” stated “that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.”

  2. David Carroll, Grantsburg,Wisconsin, asked for the DefenseProduction Act (DARPA) to accelerate renewable energyadoption through increasing supply and demand as outlined in the Center for Biological Diversity Report. Carroll also requested that the President invoke the National Emergencies Act to halt oil exports and to stop oil and gas drilling on the outer continental shelf.

  3. Lise Van Susteren, MD, Bethesda, Maryland, proposed a new cabinet level position for a Secretary of Climate. This would streamline and coordinate action on climate change.

  4. Rev. Leo Woodberry, Florence, South Carolina, and Danna Smith, Dogwood Alliance, each emphasized the impacts climate change is having on environmental justice in communities across the South and the threat of industrial logging for biomass.

    5.David Krantz, New York City, speaking on behalf of Jewish communities, emphasized that every Jewish organization is emphasizing the importance of strong action on climate change.

  5. Susan Bass, representing Earth Day, addressed the serious problem of plastic pollution in the oceans and everywhere.

Allen Johnson, Jim Davidson, Caitrin Keiper, (Plough) and Rabbi Fred Dobb also addressed the Administration.