A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Jim Vogt: Over 100 Kentucky faith leaders support carbon pricing to curb climate change

As the proposed reconciliation package is debated by Democrats in Congress, those of us concerned about climate change hope that the final version of that bill will include a significant investment in reversing climate change. It’s a key part of the package, but a big question is how to pay for it.

Over 100 Kentucky faith leaders have an answer – put a price on carbon. These community leaders, representing a number of different faith traditions, came together recently to sign a letter to Congress that said it is imperative to phase out carbon emissions, the leading cause of the climate crisis, and called carbon pricing a “morally just strategy.”

They emphasized that caring for creation is an essential part of their religious belief, which at this point means working to reverse climate change. They stressed that carbon pricing is an effective way to do so, stating:

While we recognize that an array of strategies will be needed, we advocate “pricing carbon” as a primary tool, using a carbon pollution fee. Pricing carbon provides a good foundation and complements other climate strategies. It effectively uses the power of the free market to steer us towards efficiency, clean energy and green manufacturing practices, all while creating jobs. Turning towards safer alternatives will happen when a carbon pollution fee is embedded in the price of polluting fossil fuels.

The signatories come from throughout the Commonwealth, and 13 are from this region of the state within the Fourth Congressional District. One of the N. Kentucky signatories, Rev. Diane Vego, a chaplain at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, expressed her motivation to sign the letter this way:

I will continue to support efforts and bills that put climate change and earth care justice at the center of our economic agenda. That is why I signed the recent document on carbon pricing.  We need to take stronger stances, economically speaking, that place our earth, its preservation and vitality, at center stage.

This letter underscores the reality that combatting climate change is not only a political, economic and environmental issue, but also a religious one. These leaders are calling all people of faith to join in the fight for the well-being of our planet and to see carbon pricing as a key step in that direction.

To read their letter to Congress and see the list of signatories, go to https://bit.ly/2VQXuDk.

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