U.S. Energy Policy and United Methodist Responsibility


1. Energy policy in the U.S. must be based on sound scientific and ethical principles of respect for and justice within the World Community, focusing not on expanding supply through large scale projects but on managing the demand and developing renewable, alternative sources of energy. Specifically, the U.S. must:

move beyond its dependence on high carbon fossil fuels that produce emissions leading to climate change,
ratify the Kyoto Protocol under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,
concentrate on reducing carbon dioxide emissions within the U.S. and not rely on mechanisms such as emission trading with other countries to meet our targets for emission reductions under international agreements,
reduce our reliance on nuclear power, a technology for which there are still unresolved problems such as the safe disposal or safe storage of high level waste of nuclear reactors,
manage demand through a high priority on conservation and energy efficiency,
increase significantly research and development into such renewable energy sources as solar, wind, biomass, etc.,
support development and utilization of appropriate technologies for small-scale, decentralized energy systems,
support expansion of the infrastructure needed for public transportation and carpooling, and
provide necessary support for individuals, families, and communities adversely affected by a transition away from fossil fuels, nuclear power, and large-scale hydro in order to allow for alternative economic development, retraining, relocation, etc.

2. Members of local United Methodist churches are urged to show leadership as stewards of God's creation and take concrete actions to:

educate our congregants on energy production and usage in relation to global warming,
conduct an energy audit of our homes, church facilities, and camp structures to identify sources of energy waste and the potential financial savings of energy-related improvements,
make energy improvements to our homes, church facilities, and camp structures,
replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs,
expand our use of public transportation, carpooling, and teleconferencing to reduce fossil fuel consumption,
choose a cleaner vehicle that is the least polluting and most efficient,
keep our vehicle's engine tuned and tires properly inflated,
study the consequences of our consumer choices and take action to lessen our impact on the environment, and use our votes by telling our elected officials that we need laws that support the most important solutions to climate change: cleaner cars and cleaner power plants.


See Social Principles, 160B.

From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church 2004. Copyright 2004 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.

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