Dear Honorable Members of the General Assembly,
…our collective communities of faith consider climate change to be a defining moral issue of our times – challenging our understandings; calling ever more profoundly on our testaments of faith, our reservoirs of hope, our sense of shared humanity; inspiring us to action…
We urge your support of the Community Energy Authorities Act (Senator McDowell’s bill that includes creation of a Community Sustainable Energy Authorities provision); critical legislation introduced to combat the causes and consequences of climate change and sea-level rise, boost a greener economy, and address inequities in access to affordable, clean, renewal energy sources.
We understand this bill would:
- Increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard from 25% to 40% by 2035
- Ensure that DNREC and the state can accurately capture the true cost of renewable energy to consumers
- Establish a model community solar program, making solar energy more affordable and accessible, regardless of income level or type of residence, “…bringing the sun’s energy directly to the people.”
With so many critical issues demanding our attention, our resources, our prayers and our prophetic discernment – coronavirus being so prominent – we cannot lose sight of the even greater threats of a warming planet. We have a moral obligation to understand and quantify those threats and to take the bold actions necessary to “flatten” the warming curve.
We are already seeing the effects of climate change right here in Delaware – eroded beaches, flooded neighborhoods, damaged farmlands, worsening coastal flooding and increased salt levels in critical estuaries and aquifers. We are having more extreme heat days, our growing season is being affected, as are migratory patterns of the birds and waterfowl that delight and sustain us, attracting tourists from around the world. And all too often, locally and around the world, those suffering the greatest effects of these impacts are those least responsible for causing them.
Beyond mitigating the negative consequences, we believe the initiatives and incentives that could come out of this bill would provide a range of direct benefits to our worship facilities, our members and the communities we serve, in terms of energy cost savings, job creation, and healthier air to breath.
We believe we are our sisters’ and brothers’ keepers; that we are responsible to care for the wonders of creation that both delight and sustain us; that in caring for creation, we are caring for ourselves and honoring the Creator. And we believe this legislation takes a consequential step toward meeting our moral obligation as it, in turn, addresses the related health risks and financial burdens so many in our congregations and around our state are enduring.
If your own research and understandings would lead you to oppose this bill, we would ask you to share your perspectives and the sources that have informed them.
We appreciate your serious consideration of this request. Please forward your questions and/or responses to Lisa Locke, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rev. Pamela Adams, Faithful and Favored, Inc.
The Rev. Kharma Amos, Unitarian Universalists of Center Delaware, Dover
The Rev. Joseph Archie III, United Methodist Church District Superintendent
The Rev. Earle N. Baker, Lewes
The Rev. Idola Batson, Mt. Calvary AME Church, Seaford
The Rt. Rev. Kevin S. Brown, Bishop, the Episcopal Church in Delaware
The Rev. Chet Carbaugh, Interim Pastor of Safe Harbor United Church of Christ, Milton
Sr. Jeanne F. Cashman, OSU, Governor’s Faith-Based Partnership Council
The Rev. Jason R. Churchill, Pastor, St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, ELCA, Ecumenical Officer Delaware-Maryland Synod,
The Rev. Charles Lane Cowen, Associate Rector, Trinity Episcopal Parish, Wilmington
The Rev. Thomas C. Davis, Wilmington
The Rev. Dr. Lyle J. Dykstra, member New Castle Presbytery, Wilmington
The Rev. William J. Gohl, Jr., Bishop, Delaware-Maryland Synod, ELCA
Rev. Dr. Vicki Gordy-Stith, Pastor, Epworth United Methodist Church, Rehoboth Beach
Apostle Dr. John T. Graham, Overseer and Pastor The Temple United Churches, Inc.
Peter H. Grumbacher , Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Beth Emeth, Wilmington
The Rev. Robert P Hall, OSL, Ecumenical Officer, Peninsula-Delaware Conference, The United Methodist Church
The Rev. Jay Hutchinson, Chaplain, St. Andrew’s School, Middletown
The Rev. Andrew Jacob, Pastor, Hanover Presbyterian Church, Wilmington
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson, Resident Bishop, Philadelphia Area, The United Methodist Church
The Reverend Dr. Gregory Knox Jones, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Wilmington
The Rev. Canon Martha Kirkpatrick, the Episcopal Church in Delaware – Public Statement
Edward & Jo A Klinge, co-conveners, InterFaith Leaders for Neighborhood Ministries, Wilmington
The Rev. Dr. Melissa Lemons, Unity Lutheran, Wilmington
The Rev. Paula Maiorano, Unitarian Universalists, Delaware
Pramod Mathur, Delaware Hindu Temple, Hockessin
Charanjeet Singh Minhas, Chairman, Delaware Sikh Awareness Coalition
The Reverend David E. Mueller, Interim Pastor, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Wilmington
The Rev. Dr. Vincent P. Oliver, on behalf of members of the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council – Public Statement
LaVaida Owens-White, Faith Community Nurse, Wilmington
Irfan Patel & Faizal Chaudhury, Islamic Society of Delaware
The Rev. Gregory Pelley, Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek, Newark
The Rev. Cynthia Robinson, New Ark United Church of Christ, Newark
The Rev. Jeffrey Ross, Rector of St. Peter’s Church, Lewes – Public Statement
Pastor Gordon E. Simmons, State Public Policy Officer, DE Lutheran Office for Public Policy,
Rev. Shada Sullivan, Pastor, The Church of the Holy City, Wilmington
John D. Sykes, President and Founder, Delaware Interfaith Power & Light
The Rev. Pamela Wat, First Unitarian Church, Wilmington
To take individual action to advocate for passage of Sen. McDowell’s bill that includes creation of a Community Sustainable Energy Authorities provision, go to the Sierra Club site at https://www.sierraclub.org/delaware.