For Immediate Release: Feb. 24th, 2015
230+ Maryland Faith Leaders to Annapolis:
Our communities pay for dirty energy
with our health and a damaged climate.
Double clean energy in Maryland.
IN AN UNPRECEDENTED SHOW OF ECUMENICAL RELIGIOUS LEADERSHIP
ON A STATE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE, 7 MARYLAND BISHOPS RALLY FAITH SUPPORT FOR
THE MARYLAND CLEAN ENERGY ADVANCEMENT ACT (HB 377/SB 373).
Annapolis, MD – As the Maryland Senate’s Finance Committee prepares to take up legislation to double the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard this afternoon, legislators on two key committees were delivered a letter signed by over 230 religious leaders, including 7 bishops and ecumenical leaders, making a moral case for shifting the state to cleaner energy.
Full text of the letter below.
The letter was delivered in Annapolis to members of both the House Economic Matters and Senate Finance Committees. Many of the clergy signers are also calling the legislators’ offices to deliver their message. Rev. Dellyne Hinton (Gwynn Oak United Methodist Church and Central Maryland Ecumenical Council) testified in the House Economic Matters Committee on Friday, and today, Bishop Wolfgang Herz-Lane (DE-MD Synod, ELCA and Ecumenical Leaders’ Group of Maryland) and Rev. Darriel Harris (Baltimore Food & Faith Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future) will testify in the Senate Finance Committee on behalf of the Maryland Clean Energy Advancement Act.
Last night, Rev. Stephen A. Tillett (Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church) addressed a rally for supporters of the bill in Annapolis.These faith leaders are asking their leaders in Annapolis to recognize energy policy as of particular concern to their communities.
“Caring for God’s creation – including all its inhabitants – means slowing and limiting our use of fossil fuels and significantly reducing our climate pollution,” the letter states. “In order to fulfill that moral imperative, we, the leaders of Maryland’s religious communities, challenge ourselves, our denominational institutions, our congregations collectively and their members individually, fellow people of faith, and all people of good will to take action on climate change by choosing renewable energy sources (such as solar, wind and geothermal), specifically, to move to 40% renewable energy usage by 2025.”
The clergy who joined this effort reflect Maryland’s religious and cultural diversity. Doubling Maryland’s renewable energy has support from leaders in the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i, Buddhist, and Unitarian Universalist traditions. The signatories hail from all corners of Maryland.
These clergy from diverse faith traditions and all across the state are responding to a call initiated by the Ecumenical Leaders’ Group, a committee of seven leaders of Christian denominations in Central Maryland. This marks the first time that this group of senior religious leaders have spoken out together on a matter of environmental concern.
Full text of letter and list of signatories available here
The Ecumenical Leaders’ Group is made of the bishops, presidents, executives of Christian denominations in Maryland called together by the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council. The ELG meets five times a year and addresses, with one voice, larger justice issues.
The letter effort was convened by Interfaith Power & Light (MD.DC.NoVA), which works with hundreds of congregations of all faiths across the DC metro area to save energy, go green, and respond to climate change: www.gwipl.org. Joelle Novey, 202-256-1450