(Richmond, VA) — Virginia faith leaders, joined by those across the country, sent a letter yesterday to members of Congress, urging federal representatives to support President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan. The religious and spiritual leaders stressed that the bold plan will advance efforts to safeguard creation and address the harms of climate change and pollution.
From historic wildfires to record-breaking extreme weather, climate change is devastating public health and the environment. This move continues Virginia’s lead in the southeast region on addressing climate change. Virginia faith advocates want to see the Commonwealth build on joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and passing the Virginia Clean Economy Act last year.
“As faith leaders we call on our leaders to lead us forward with a bold economic recovery plan, to invest in our future. The American Jobs Plan will fulfill our moral obligation to leave a habitable world for future generations, both transforming our nation’s infrastructure and fighting the climate crisis.” said Dr. Karen McElfish, an Arlington-based representative of the United Methodist Women’s Program Advisory Group.
Virginians are calling for bold action to reduce the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change and to accelerate the transition to a just clean energy economy. Virginia has much to gain in the transition when considering the potential for offshore wind expansion as well as its port and workforce. According to a 2019 report by Environmental Entrepreneurs, Virginia is already #10 in the country in terms of clean energy jobs, with more than 95,000 Virginians working in the solar, wind,energy efficiency and clean energy industries.
“The American Jobs Plan is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Virginia to build back better and fight climate change. Virginia has approximately 10,000 miles of coastline threatened by sea level rise. Our state is counting on Senator Warner to deliver on this bold plan, and he must fully support passing this monumental legislation.” said Rev. Dr. Faith Harris, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light Co-Director.