Gas Mileage Now Seen as Moral Issue

Maine Council of Churches sees connection between man-made pollution and global climate change

Published: 12-Mar-2004

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A coalition of Maine religious leaders today will argue that gasoline mileage is a moral issue and urge state government to convert more of its primary fleet of 1,372 cars and trucks to fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles.

At a news conference in Augusta, the Maine Council of Churches will make the connection between man-made pollution and global climate change, and will challenge state government to lead by example and help reduce its impact. Expanding on a national 2002 campaign against sport utility vehicles called "What Would Jesus Drive?" the Maine group is posing this question: "What should the governor and government drive?"

The challenge represents another example in Maine of a growing, national convergence of religion and environmental awareness. Increasingly, religious leaders are making a link between issues such as air pollution, global warming and preserving the world that faith says was created by God. Citing passages from the Bible and the Koran, they are encouraging consumers, businesses and government agencies to pay a little more for energy to help the earth.

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