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NC religious leaders voice opposition to Trump’s offshore drilling push

The list of opponents to the Trump administration’s plan to bring offshore oil and gas drilling to the North Carolina coast just continues to grow. Yesterday, a collection of North Carolina religious leaders added their names to it. This is from the release that accompanied the announcement:

34 North Carolina Religious Leaders Oppose Trump/Zinke Plans for Offshore Drilling

North Carolina religious leaders part of 300+ nationally urge Administration to protect coastal communities

In response to President Donald Trump and Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke’s proposal to auction off nearly every piece of America’s coastline to private oil companies, 34 religious leaders in North Carolina urged the Administration to invest in renewable energy instead of expanded fossil fuel exploration. The joint letter from the religious leaders comes at the end of a 60-day federal comment period that has seen heightened opposition to the Administration’s coastal drilling plan.  The North Carolina religious leaders are part of a larger 310-signer letter of religious leaders from across the U.S.

The letter from the North Carolina religious leaders includes the following: “We urge the Trump Administration to focus on investments in renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar, as well as maximize our energy efficiency, instead of looking to expand fossil fuel exploration in God’s ocean. God entrusts us to be good stewards of God’s oceans and coasts. We should honor this sacred duty and position our country as a global leader in energy stewardship.”

The signers from North Carolina include:

  • Rev. David Guthrie, Moravian Church in America-Southern Province, Winston-Salem
  • Rev. Jennifer Copeland, North Carolina Council of Churches, Raleigh
  • Rev. Beverly Wallace, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Clayton
  • Rev. Michael McClain, National Baptist Convention USA, Charlotte
  • Rev. Lee Hull Moses, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Greensboro
  • Rev. Art Smoker, Mennonite Church, Mars Hill
  • Rev. Dennnis Testerman, Presbyterians for Earth Care, Concord
  • Rev. Jaye White, North Carolina Conference UMC, Fayetteville
  • Rev. Tamara Franks, High Country United Church of Christ, Vilas
  • Rev. Sekinah Hamlin, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Durham
  • Rev. Dr. T. Anothony Spearman, National Council of Churches Governing Board President, Greensboro
  • Rev. Isaac Villegas, Menonite Church, Durham
  • Rev. Steve Hickle, United Methodist Conference, Raleigh
  • Rev. Jim Abbott, Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, Asheville
  • Dr. Joseph Brown, Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District African Methodist Episcopal Church, Fayetteville
  • Rev. Patrick Campbell, UCC Southern Conference, Morganton
  • Rev. David Guthrie, Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina, Greenville
  • Rev. Rob Jackson, Presbytery of Salem Presbyterian Church (USA), Greensboro
  • Rev. Sonja Lee, Unity Fellowship Movement, Charlotte
  • Rev. Otis Robinson, Reformed Churches of God in Christ International, Winston-Salem
  • Rev. Jill Bullard, Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, Durham
  • Rev. Robert Williams, Williams Memorial CME, High Point
  • Rev. John Cradle, St. Joseph CME, Chapel Hill
  • Rev. Ronald White, Sr., Young Missionary Baptist, Raleigh
  • Rev. Hazel Height, Greater St. Paul Miss Baptist, Durham
  • Rev. Brian Thompson, Simon Temple AME Zion, Chapel Hill
  • Rev. Doris Gorham, Beebe Memorial CME, Washington
  • Rev. Barbara McCollum, Holsey Memorial CME, Statesville
  • Rev. Robert Scott, St. Paul Baptist, Charlotte
  • Rev. Cureton Johnson, First Baptist, Fayetteville
  • Rev. David Mitchell, Mount Gilead Baptist, Durham
  • Rev. Jerry Cannon, C.N. Jenkins Mem/Presbyterian, Charlotte
  • Rev. Susannah Tuttle, Unitarian Universalist
  • Sister Rose Marie Tresp, Roman Catholic

The 310 national signers represent diverse religious denominations including the Presbyterian Church (USA), Episcopal Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and African Methodist Episcopal Zion church.

The message to the Administration from the religious leaders is an urgent one: “Offshore drilling could produce perilous consequences like oil spills that can poison the God’s oceans, including wildlife and clean water. No oil company or Administration can guarantee the safety of drilling offshore.”

The National Religious Partnership for the Environment is an alliance of independent faith groups across a broad spectrum of religions, including Catholic, Evangelical, Protestant, and Jewish.

Text of the letter can be found here: http://www.nrpe.org/uploads/2/4/4/7/24473122/offshore_state_sign_on_letter_nc.pdf

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