Evangelical Christian leaders air support for President Obama's climate change plan

US President Barack Obama rolls up his shirt sleeve before speaking about his vision to reduce carbon pollution at Georgetown University in Washington on June 25, 2013.Reuters

US President Barack Obama's so-called "Clean Power Plan," which is geared to cut carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants, has gained the support of more than 170 evangelical Christian leaders.

The conservative faith leaders wrote a letter to President Obama expressing support for the historic proposal made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that aims to reduce carbon pollution by 30 percent from 2005 levels.

The Obama administration's Clean Power Plan was drafted in June and is expected to be fully released this month. As expected, it is being opposed by coal industry leaders who warned that the proposal will increase costs and only have a minimal effect to fight global warming.

In their letter to Obama, the evangelical Christian leaders said "overcoming the climate challenge is one of the great moral opportunities of our time."

"It is God's love that calls all of us to take on this challenge. That is why we write to offer our support and encouragement for your efforts to overcome the climate challenge," the Christian leaders said in their joint letter.

The faith leaders also see the Clean Power Plan as a way for the US to lead the global "clean energy revolution" as well as show the way on how to fight air and water pollution.

They added that fully implementing this plan will create more jobs, protect children's health, and help poor nations vulnerable to climate change.

"Like you, we would much prefer that Congress act to reduce carbon pollution through a market-based approach, such as a revenue-neutral carbon tax swap that cuts other taxes. Until they do, we are grateful that you have stepped up to fill this leadership vacuum, because time is of the essence," the Christian leaders' letter stated.

Signatories to the letter included popular pastors, teachers, and evangelical thinkers like bestselling Christian author Rev. Brian McLaren and famous evangelical theologian Dr. David Gushee.

The letter stated that 230,000 "pro-life Christians" also support the EPA's carbon reduction plan.

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