The 9.5 Thesis
Out of love for the truth and desire to elucidate it, the Interreligious Eco Justice Network posts this declaration that the massive budgetary raid on energy efficiency funds contained within the General Assembly budget violates God the Creator’s directive to all religious faiths. Based on this violation, we call on the Governor to reject these cuts and veto the budget accordingly.
In particular, we declare:
1. That our Lord God, Yahweh, Great Spirit, Allah, whatever name the Creator of the Universe be called, in every spiritual text that has ever been written, has charged us with caring for and protecting all of Creation;
2. That the Pope’s 2015 Encyclical on the Environment brings together science and theology to conclude that climate change is a stark physical and spiritual threat. God’s Creation itself is at risk, and the very ability of the biosphere to survive. This poses the greatest danger to the poorest among us, who are least responsible and most vulnerable to the results of climate change;
3. That God’s very Creation and our collective survival depends on comprehensive action to fight climate change through aggressive reduction in fossil fuel use. This includes the just application of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs that benefit all members of society;
4. That progress in protecting God’s Creation by establishing just policies to rapidly reduce our country’s fossil fuel use is now in the hands of the States. Connecticut has been an early leader in creation protection by establishing strong reduction targets contained in the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008. We are a founding state member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and have dedicated utility “rate-payer set asides” to incentivize energy efficiency, renewable energy and weatherization programs for the poor. We established the Green Bank that is an international model for innovative financing projects designed for protection of Creation;
5. That the raid of an estimated $127 million from these “rate-payer set-asides” amounts to a break in faith and the moral equivalent of stealing;
6. That the raid of $20 million from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative revenues intended to support both renewable energy and energy efficiency programs is also the moral equivalent to stealing;
7. That the raid on “rate-payer set asides” is estimated to eliminate weatherization services to 14,000 of our low income neighbors, again resulting in an immoral impact on the poor and most vulnerable among us in Connecticut;
8. That stripping of $16 million in funds over two years from the Green Bank will hobble this international model of innovative financing for projects designed to protect God’s creation;
9. That over 6,000 of our neighbors are estimated to lose their means of employment as a result of these actions and another 14,000 neighbors will be robbed of their ability to have warmer, brighter and more affordable homes through the elimination of the Home Energy Solutions program;
9.5 Therefore, we call on Governor Malloy, as a man of faith who cares deeply about protection of God’s Creation, to veto this immoral proposal from the General Assembly. We ask that he direct them to amend the budget to eliminate the stealing of funds that protect our environment, for the sake of our children and the ability of all of us to enjoy a habitable planet.
These 9.5 Thesis are hereby presented to Governor Malloy of the State of Connecticut on October 31, 2017, the anniversary of the onset of the Reformation, 500 years ago. All who have questions about these 9.5 Theses are directed to visit the website of the Interreligious Eco Justice Network wwww.irejn.org