Over the past several months, 53,000 pro-life Ohioans have signed a petition calling on Governor Mike DeWine and the members of the Ohio Legislature to transition Ohio to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030. Members of Ohio’s faith community shared information today about the importance of clean, renewable energy and what Ohio should do to embrace these efforts for the health and safety for all Ohioans.
“Strong support for building a clean energy economy is a natural extension of the values that evangelicals hold most dear,” said Rev. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, Midwest Director for the Evangelical Environmental Network, the organization that sponsored the petition. “The teachings of scripture, the sanctity of life, and the good news of the gospel are all advanced when people have healthy air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a stable climate to support healthy and thriving livelihoods.”
For years, pro-life Christians have opposed harmful pollution from fossil fuel infrastructure due to its threat to human health, especially the health of vulnerable populations (children, the elderly, those with chronic illness) and the unborn.
Rev. Dean Van Farowe, pastor at Calvary Reformed Church in Cleveland, made it clear that advocating for clean energy development and deployment was a Christian responsibility: “’The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it (Psalm 24:1).’ As grateful stewards of God‘s beautiful Ohio, with its Great Lake, inimitable buckeye, and one-of-a-kind Lakeside daisy, we have the responsibility to respond to the climate crisis. God has given us the natural renewable resources to do so, and now is the time to act.”
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Ohio boasted 114,00 clean energy jobs. These jobs were growing at 4 times the rate of overall statewide employment, and represented 12 times more jobs than Ohio’s fossil fuel industry. This job growth was almost entirely market-driven and happened with little to no help from state lawmakers. In the last three months of the health crisis, more than 20,000 of these jobs have been lost. State legislators can ensure that any efforts to support the state’s recovery include provisions to jump start the clean energy job sector.
“Our call as Christians is to love our neighbors, and that includes both now and into the future,” said Mykal Shupe, a youth climate activist and recent Malone University (Canton) graduate. “Clean energy is an assurance to young Christians that our future children and grandchildren will have a healthy and safe place to live, which is more than we can say for them today. God has given us the ideas and the abilities to unlock clean energy technologies. Let’s take up the responsibility to put it to work.”
Pro-Life Clean Energy Petition Language
“As a pro-life Christian, I believe pollution harms the unborn, causing damage that lasts a lifetime. Dirty air and water have serious consequences for the health of our children. That is why pro-life Christians we are helping to lead the charge on clean energy.
Therefore, I ask Governor DeWine and the Ohio Legislature to support policies that achieve 100% clean electricity in our state by 2030.”