U.S. churches petition for clean air

Nov. 7, 2005 at 9:10 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. environmentalists have gained an ally in the fight for clean air with a petition among the 30 million-strong National Association of Evangelicals.

The non-profit group, which represents some 45,000 churches, is circulating a draft of a policy statement that would encourage lawmakers to pass legislation creating mandatory controls for carbon emissions, The New York Times reported Monday.

Citing a biblical passage in Genesis 2:15 which reads, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it," Richard Cizik, the association's vice president for governmental affairs, said the clean air effort was justified.

"Working the land and caring for it go hand in hand," he said.

A major obstacle to any measure that would address global warming is Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who is chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and an evangelical himself, but a skeptic of climate change caused by human activities.

"You can always find in scriptures a passage to misquote for almost anything," Inhofe told the newspaper.

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