Religious Leaders From Across NJ Announce Formation of 'Interfaith Energy Alliance'

Inter-denominational alliance to encourage congregations to make committment to the environment as God's creation, and economics as a tool of justice and healing.

Published: 30-Nov-2000

TRENTON, N.J., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to improve air quality, religious leaders from across New Jersey are calling on their followers to consider a 'higher' power authority when selecting an electricity supplier.

Representatives from eight denominations announced at their 'Congregations for Cleaner Air Conference' today, the first-ever, statewide faith-based environmental campaign, sponsored by Partners for Environmental Quality (PEQ). The holy alliance includes Catholic, Episcopal, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Quaker, and Unitarian faiths, representing as many as 6,000 congregations in New Jersey.

"We come together out of our common faith expressed in the 24th Psalm, that 'The earth is the Lord's, and all that is in it'," declared Rev. Dr. Franklin Vilas, an Episcopal priest and president of PEQ. "This is a coalition of faith, commitment to the environment as God's creation, and economics as a tool of justice and healing."

PEQ's Interfaith Energy Alliance hopes to help improve air quality by stimulating demand for renewable energy. To do so, the group has entered into a year-long agreement with Green Mountain Energy Company.

"Making electricity causes more air pollution than any other industry. We're urging people to buy electricity based on principle, not just price," stated Rev. Vilas.

The group plans to launch its campaign in over 200 congregations in northern New Jersey. Trained volunteers will help educate their fellow congregants about the moral implications of choosing electric supply, and provide information about signing up for Green Mountain Energysm.

"Green Mountain Energy Company and Partners for Environmental Quality share a vital common goal. That is, to change the way electricity is made and used," said Clifton Payne, Mid-Atlantic regional president for Green Mountain Energy Company. "We are honored that religious leaders from throughout New Jersey have put their faith in Green Mountain Energy Company to reliably provide cleaner and renewable electricity to their followers."

Green Mountain Energy Company provides the leading brand of cleaner electricity in California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. All energy blends offered by Green Mountain Energy Company are dramatically cleaner than typical system power.

Several religious institutions signed service agreements today with Green Mountain Energy Company, including the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for its properties.

"We consider this financial commitment to be an outreach mission expense that can make a real difference in the quality of life of our members and neighbors," stated Rt. Rev. John P. Croneberger, Bishop of the Newark Diocese.

Other institutions switching to Green Mountain Energy Company include the Church of Our Saviour in Secaucus, Genesis Farm of the Dominican Sisters in Blairstown, Princeton Friends Meeting, and Christ Church in Hackensack. Additionally, several clergy personally signed up their homes with Green Mountain Energy Company.

About Partners for Environmental Quality (PEQ) - PEQ is a non-profit environmental interfaith organization, formed in 1992 as a response to the United Nations Earth Summit Conference in Rio de Janeiro. Through different educational initiatives, PEQ encourages religious communities and their houses of worship to become environmental stewards within the context of their faiths.

SOURCE Congregations for Cleaner Air

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