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Leadership Team expresses disappointment with recent Biden Administration announcement

“We must not destroy the world, but preserve it – every single creature, every insect, every plant is part of God’s world. Woe to those that disturb His world! Hail to those that preserve His world!” – Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, commentary to Genesis 1:1.

As the Providence Community, we are discouraged by the recent announcement from the Biden Administration that it has elected to resume oil and gas leasing on federal public lands, effectively opening more than 140,000 acres of land for fossil fuel leasing.

Our Congregation was one of more than 1,000 other signatories to sign a letter urging the Biden Administration not to do this.

When he entered office, President Biden clamped down on new leases for oil and gas, a campaign promise, and decision we applauded and which will help our Earth. But the Department of the Interior’s announcement on April 15 (Good Friday) will not only affect Earth and her inhabitants, it also spoils an opportunity to better educate ourselves on the many other energy alternatives we should utilize and the many ways we can choose to alter our own behavior that will have a lasting impact.

We must eliminate our use of fossil fuels in order to heal our Earth and ourselves and the only way to do this is by significantly utilizing renewable energy resources. Studies that were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic proved that greenhouse gas emissions were cut dramatically around our Earth at the outset of the pandemic due to limitations on travel.

We will continue to pray that this recent announcement is only temporary in order to help those most in need regarding the spiking of gas prices due to the war Russia is waging against Ukraine. We will also continue to pray that the studies that were conducted showing the cutting of greenhouse gas emissions during the onset of the pandemic are reviewed and we will all begin to find ways to end extraction of fossil fuels and help heal our Earth.

In the Laudato Si encyclical, Pope Francis wrote, “All of us are linked by unseen bonds and together form a kind of universal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a sacred, affectionate and humble respect.” These words still hold meaning. We are all linked and together, we form a universal family.

When elected, President Biden focused on a theme of “Build Back Better.”  We will continue to urge President Biden to “Build Back Better Fossil Free.”

Sources:

“Eco Bible Commentary on Genesis 1:1,” by the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development

“Emission reductions from pandemic had unexpected effects on atmosphere,” By the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. November 9, 2021

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The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

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