Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Congress must protect public lands, water, climate

The House FY24 Interior Appropriations bill will harm our sacred Earth and our beloved communities.

Right now, as a member of Vermont Interfaith Power and Light, I urge Vermonters to contact Representative Becca Balint to urge that she go on record against this legislation. Please read the message from IPL’s President below and act now.

Today, the U.S. House voted on its Interior-Environment appropriations bill. As people of faith, we believe budgets are moral documents. How we spend our money reflects our values as a nation. The U.S. House of Representatives FY24 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill includes devastating environmental cuts that attack key programs and institutions that are working to protect our public lands, water, and climate.

In response, Interfaith Power & Light released this statement from Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light:

“As our beloved communities continue to face growing threats from climate change through rising temperatures, wildfires, smoke hazards, and rising sea levels, these funding cuts proposed by fossil fuel-backed politicians move us further from our climate goals and will have real consequences for frontline communities and our Sacred Earth.

Our faith traditions call us to care for our neighbors and to protect our climate for current and future generations. IPL urges Congressional leadership to reject the bill in favor of a bipartisan solution that includes the maximum amount possible for climate and environmental justice funding. We also urge Congress to oppose poison pill riders that attack bedrock environmental protections like NEPA and fast-track fossil fuel projects without a thorough review. We have a moral duty to be stewards of the Earth, which supports all life, for all people and all of Earth’s creatures.”

Richard Butz

Bristol.

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