Home Energy and Environment Video, Statement: 30+ Virginia Ministers Call on Gov. McAuliffe to Act...

Video, Statement: 30+ Virginia Ministers Call on Gov. McAuliffe to Act on Climate

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The speakers in the video, from earlier today in Richmond are, from left to right: Rev. David Bailey, Worship Pastor, Making a Melody and East End Fellowship; Alexei Laushkin, Vice President of the Evangelical Environmental Network; and local Virginia minister Shawn Eubank of Creation Care.

Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney was also in attendance to receive the signed bible and letter from the ministers. It’s great to see religious leaders increasingly stepping up to the challenge of environmental protection at a time when it’s desperately needed, due to mankind’s almost complete failure to be “good stewards” over “creation.” For more, see the Creation Care blog by Alexei Laushkin, Vice President of the Evangelical Environmental Network.

More Than 30 Virginia Pastors Call on Gov. McAuliffe to Protect Health, Grow Economy by Acting on Climate Change

Faith Leaders Call Action on Climate a “Moral Responsibility” – Urge Governor to Implement New Commonsense Limits on Harmful Carbon Pollution

Richmond, VA. – Over 30 Evangelical ministers today called on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration to develop a strong plan to protect Virginia’s health and economy by limiting the harmful carbon pollution that causes climate change.

At a prayer breakfast at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, the ministers urged the Governor to take commonsense measures that reduce pollution and clean up Virginia’s waterways for the sake of future generations. The ministers presented the McAuliffe administration with a signed bible and statement urging the Governor to implement new federal limits on carbon emissions from power plants set forth in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

“There is no time to delay, as the health and well-being of our children is already being affected,” said Rev. David Bailey, Worship Pastor, Making a Melody and East End Fellowship. “We must come together to protect God’s creation from climate change and its damaging effects on our health and economy. We urge the Governor to step forward and implement the new EPA standards to safeguard our future.”

As faith leaders, the ministers emphasized that they have a moral responsibility to Virginia’s children and future generations to do everything possible to limit carbon pollution and protect the state’s waterways. As pro-life evangelical Christians and people of faith, the protection of children, the unborn, and those yet to be born is at the heart of who they are-and, as such, they believe climate change and clean waterways should be non-partisan issues.

“We are called to be good stewards of God’s world. It’s time we lived up to our obligations for the sake of our children and future generations,” said Rev. Charlotte Keys of Jesus People Against Pollution.

  • The statement the ministers included with the Bible they gave to Secretary Levar Stoney this morning.

    In the account of the Exodus, God’s people had a bright future ahead of them, if they only would trust in the Lord and lean not on their own understanding. The days of wandering in the desert aren’t too different than the days we inhabit. Then like now, the challenges seemed stacked against us. Then like now, people doubted and didn’t have faith that God would provide a way through his people. Then like now, God still has more to do with each of us.

    In the book of Numbers we find the account of Caleb. Moses through God led the Israelite refugees through Sinai to the edge of “The Promised Land.”  He then sends twelve men to explore this land of milk and honey.  After 40 days, they return.  One, Caleb, sees the hope for a better future.  The other eleven forget what God has already accomplished and ferment yet another fearful revolt against God and Moses – crying out, “If only we had died in Egypt.”

    Returning to Egypt was an oft repeated demand throughout the Exodus.  For many of us when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, we want to separate, go back, go our own way often without God’s guidance or leading.

    Whether we like to admit it – most of us fear change. That’s where we stand today when it comes to climate change.

    According to the American Lung Association State of the Air Report, 35.6 million kids in the United States live in areas with unhealthy air. In Richmond alone, the number of children with pediatric asthma exceeds an astounding 24,000. The childhood epidemics of asthma, autism, AHDH, and allergies impact as many as 1 in 3 children in the United States, with strong links to the overuse of unclean fossil fuel-based energy. We in the developed world have benefited greatly from our past energy sources, but not without costs borne by our children’s health.  The decision to be stewards of our children’s health is ours. Today we stand on the precipice of a clean energy revolution – one that could provide energy freedom for all, grow our economy, empower families to generate their own energy, protect our children’s health, and protect national security.  This isn’t an illusion or pipedream. Business giant Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) says the clean energy transition is now self-sustaining and inevitable.  

    The Clean Power Plan will help us get to this future, and that’s why we are calling on Governor McAuliffe to lead. We urge Governor McAuliffe to boldly embrace his opportunity to implement limits on carbon pollution from power plans so that we can protect our future generations. It’s time to be a Caleb.