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August 2, 2001, NEW YORK CITY – The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, National Council of Churches General Secretary, today thanked U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman for "a wise and faithful decision" on Hudson River cleanup. He has criticized several recent Bush Administration decisions on the environment. The full text of his letter, faxed today to Ms. Whitman, follows.

The Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, Administrator
US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC

August 2, 2001

Dear Ms. Whitman,

On behalf of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, which consists of 36 national denominational bodies, I wish to express our gratitude for your extremely important directive on cleaning the Hudson River. My office windows overlook that beautiful waterway and I am thankful that you protected the beauty and integrity of the river for future generations.

As the debate on the environment has proceeded this year, the religious community has made clear that moral and religious values need to be included in decision-making. These values include: stewardship of all of creation, sustainability, responsibility to future generations, justice for all of God’s children, prudence in responding to risks, and the affirmation that "The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof".

As you know, religious leaders have been critical of several of the decisions of the Bush administration on the environment. We have been particularly concerned about the President’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol process, the change in the arsenic levels allowed in water, the reneging on the promise to reduce carbon dioxide levels in coal-burning power plants, and elements of the energy plan that will increase the threat of climate change.

Yet, we believe that decisions that heal and protect God’s creation should be acknowledged and thanks given to the leaders who choose to do the right thing. We thank you for your wisdom and courage and pray for God’s guidance and strength as you take other steps to protect creation now and for generations to come. Again our thanks for a wise and faithful decision.

Sincerely, Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General Secretary


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