Religious Leaders Call for Conservation and Renewable Energy

In an effort to encourage the U.S. Senate to preserve “God’s creation and God’s children,” 1,200 religious leaders have sent a letter to every U.S. Senator with specific proposals for energy conservation, fuel efficiency and alternative energy development.

WASHINGTON, D.C. 2002-02-28 [] Signatories on the letter include leaders of faith communities such as: United Methodist, Presbyterian, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Greek Orthodox, Episcopal, American Baptist, Lutheran, and Catholic bishops of major metropolitan areas. Against the backdrop of efforts against terrorism, the 1,200 leaders stressed “the intimate link between the safety of our people and the reliability of our energy system.” “We’re telling the Congress that energy conservation is necessary for homeland security as well as environmental protection and justice,” said the Rev. Dr. Robert Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches. “Lives are at stake here.” In preparation for nearly two years, “Interfaith Climate and Energy Campaigns” have now been established in 21 states, from auto-manufacturing Michigan to coal-mining West Virginia to energy-producing Texas. “When we reflect upon “Let there be light” in Genesis (Gen 1:3),” said Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations,” we realize that God has given us sources of clean energy: sun, wind, water and the human ingenuity to devise clean, safe technologies.” “The President’s energy plan would have us drill in the Arctic, increase nuclear power, and subsidize big polluting energy companies. There are safer, more sustainable strategies,” said Rev. Dr. Edgar. In the letter, the religious leaders called upon the Senate to pass legislation which would: -Substantially increase vehicle fuel efficiency; encourage the auto industry to produce vehicles using hybrid-electric, fuel cell, and other clean technologies; and provide incentives for their purchase. -Prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. -Invest more resources in Renewable Energy sources such as wind, geothermal, solar, and biomass technologies. -Include carbon dioxide as a regulated pollutant from power plants. -Increase funds for low-income energy assistance and inner-city rail and mass transit. “From our pulpits and in our pews, we will preach and pray the message of creation care and energy conservation, said Bishop Thomas J. Hoyt Jr., of Christian Methodist Episcopal Church And we hope, this week, that our Senators will be God’s stewards.” The letter concludes in part “Now is the time to embrace energy conservation and efficiency and alternative energy development as the central strategies of our nation’s energy policy. The energy policies we adopt in the coming debate must reflect our resolve as a nation to be faithful to our values and to fulfill our obligations at a time of national crisis.”
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