Written by Courtney Forbes
A team of Presbyterians affiliated with Citizens Climate Lobby have drafted a letter to Presbyterian Members of Congress. The epistle draws attention to the support of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763) by the PC (USA). You may read the generic document here. The letter is a living document that continues to draw signatures from members of our church. If you would like to sign, please submit your name, the name of your local church, your role in your congregation (e.g., member, Ruling Elder, Pastor) and your congressional district to Courtney Forbes at 2widdershins“at”gmail”dot”com. The next edition of the letter will be shared in early June with Congressional offices so sign up now to show your support for this important legislation.
Email version, 5/22/2019 Draft: Letter to Presbyterian members of Congress
Dear Member of Congress:
We are writing to you as a fellow Presbyterian. As you and your colleagues in Congress consider various approaches and policies to deal with climate change we want to make sure you are aware of actions which our Church is advocating.
After considering various alternatives at the PCUSA General Assembly in June of 2018, commissioners decided that the most effective way to address climate change, and bear witness as stewards of God’s creation, is to prepare its members and judicatories to become advocates for a policy approach called Carbon Fee and Dividend (CFD). This approach meets four important criteria. It quickly reduces greenhouse gas emissions; facilitates an economically just, compassionate, and orderly transition away from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy; provides the base for a truly global solution; and garners bipartisan support.
The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness has further enunciated support using these words: “The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) applauds this bipartisan effort and its co-sponsors. Now, more than ever, this nation needs lawmakers who will put aside partisan politics in order to find solutions to shared problems. Further, the PC(USA) supports passage and swift enactment of EICDA (Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act –HR 763). It is an important bill that will move us toward fulfilling our moral mandate.”
Since the General Assembly adopted this approach, support for this policy has mushroomed. The national body of the U.S. Episcopal Church voted to support CFD. Canada announced it will institute CFD nation-wide. Major newspapers have added their endorsements. Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, released a statement that “welcomed the [Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act] as an important step forward in addressing climate change”.
In January 2019, Representative Ted Deutch, along with six original cosponsors (see Table of Sponsors below) introduced legislation for a national climate policy with CFD at its center. They have since been joined by an additional 20 co-sponsors (see Table of Sponsors below) with more anticipated. This bill, The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763), now provides a bipartisan way forward.
The proposed legislation will reduce U.S. emissions at least 40% within 12 years; provides economic justice for low income families by putting money in peoples’ pockets to cope with increased energy costs; adds 2.1 million additional jobs over the next ten years; and establishes a carbon border adjustment that is fair to U.S. businesses while motivating our trading partners to join us in a truly global solution. Climate change impacts the poor and marginalized first. EICDA will address the core driver of climate change fairly and effectively.
A companion bill in the Senate which was introduced late last year is expected to be reintroduced in 2019. Bills in both the House and in the Senate are expected to garner many more Republican and Democrat co-sponsors. We ask that you find a partner across the aisle and jointly sponsor this important legislation.
Recent climate reports (IPCC and U.S. National Climate Assessment) warn that the impacts of climate change are worse than previously predicted and that we are running out of time to take the massive actions which are required to reduce greenhouse emissions. Following our General Assembly’s action all Presbyterians should now be advocating for this promising legislation. You are in a unique position to lead our nation and world from fossil fuels to a future with a clean energy economy. Your faithfulness to our Church’s witness on this most urgent of concerns has the power to literally avert the worst of climate change.
A hard copy of this letter has been mailed to your office. If we may provide any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.
Bill Bray, GA Overture Advocate 08-12, Ruling Elder, The Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 832-702-6227
Ron Spross, GA Overture Advocate 08-12, Ruling Elder, Atascocita Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas, email@example.com
Tomi Evans, GA Overture Advocate 08-09, Ruling Elder, Cherokee Park United Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, firstname.lastname@example.org
See 1) Table of Congressional Sponsors and 2) Table of Additional Signatories below
|Ted Deutch||FL||22||Dem||original sponsor|
|Judy Chu||CA||27||Dem||original cosponsor|
|Charlie Crist||FL||13||Dem||original cosponsor|
|Anna Eschoo||CA||18||Dem||original cosponsor|
|Dan Lipinski||IL||3||Dem||original cosponsor|
|Francis Rooney||FL||19||Rep||original cosponsor|
|Scott Peters||CA||52||Dem||original cosponsor|
|Bill Bray||Ruling Elder||The Woodland Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Ron Spross||Ruling Elder||Atascocita Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX|
|Tomi Evans||Ruling Elder||Cherokee Park United Church||Minneapolis||MN|
|Rev Robert Taylor||Pastor, Retired||Newport Beach||CA|
|Courtney Forbes||Ruling Elder||First Presbyterian Church||Hammond||LA||1|
|Steven Gillard||Ruling Elder||Trinity Presbyterian Church||Arlington||VA|
|Rev Jimmy Shelbourn||Pastor||Westminster Presbyterian Church||Lincoln||NE|
|Edward V. George||Ruling Elder||Covenant Presbyterian Church||Lubbock||TX|
|Scott Gruhn||Deacon||First Presbyterian Church||Anchorage||AK||1|
|Todd Duncan||Ruling Elder||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX|
|Perry Recker||Ruling Elder||Eastminster Presbyterian Church||Pittsburgh||PA||18|
|Mark Tabbert||St Mark Presbyterian Church||Newport Beach||CA||48|
|Sheree Fleming||Ruling Elder||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Jeff Fleming||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Sylvia Campbell||Ruling Elder||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Tina Davies||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Dave Davies||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|David Hitchcock||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Katherine Bray||Deacon||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Rev Elizabeth Broschart||Pastor||First Presbyterian Church||Boyne City||MI||37|
|Rev Deborah Meinke||Pastor||Cimarron Presbytery||Stillwater||OK||3|
|Richard Langford||Ruling Elder||University Presbyterian Church||El Paso||TX||16|
|John Hartman||Ruling Elder||St Philip Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||2|
|David Castro||Ruling Elder||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Nancy Castro||Ruling Elder||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Rev Dr David Jones||Pastor||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Bob Ferderer||Member||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Sarah Ferderer||Member||Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church||Houston||TX||8|
|Rev Dr Sam McGregor||Pastor||Allison Creek Presbyterian Church||Rock Hill||SC||5|
|Rev Dr Dave Wasserman||Pastor, Retired||Presbytery of Santa Fe||Santa Fe||NM||3|
|Curtis Wells||Ruling Elder||St Andrew Presbyterian Church||Denton||TX|
|Rev Abby Mohaupt||Pastor||San Francisco Presbytery||San Francisco||CA|
|George James||Ruling Elder||Webster Presbyterian Church||Webster||TX||14|
|Rev Barry Chance||Pastor||First Presbyterian Church||Hammond||LA|
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If we don’t care for God’s good earth, nothing else will matter.
Climate crisis is too important for partisan politics any longer.
Any member of Presbyterian Church USA wishing to add their signature to this document can email me, Courtney Forbes, at 2widdershins “at” gmail.com
Is this where we go to add our name?
Hey Mark, thanks for the clarifying question: The best way is to actually contact Courtney and she will add your name to the list she is keeping. Email her 2widdershins “at” gmail.com. (Obviously the “at” is our stand-in for the @ sign because we don’t want her to get spammed by internet robots searching our blog).