RICHMOND, Va. (AP) More than 60 faith leaders from across Virginia have joined environmental groups in urging Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to oppose a coal-fired power plant that Dominion Virginia Power wants to build in Wise County.
The ministers, rabbis and theologians signed onto a letter to the governor from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, one of the environmental groups leading the fight against the proposed plant in southwest Virginia.
The religious leaders state in the letter to Kaine that speaking out against the coal-fired plant is their moral responsibility as part of their "good stewardship of God's creation."
At a news conference Monday, Rabbi Ben Romer from Congregation Or Ami in Richmond said the spiritual community has "an inherent covenantal responsibility" to care for the Earth.
"The danger and effective destruction of our environment with a coal-fired plant in Wise County only brings further damage to a world that's entrusted to us," he said.
In response, Dominion spokesman Dan Genest said: "Dominion believes we are good environmental stewards, and we have a record that demonstrates that."
Gordon Hickey, a spokesman for Kaine, responded to the letter by saying that conservation and cleaner energy sources "are central to the governor's energy plan, and he believes we'll get there faster if we work with all the parties to achieve that goal."
Hickey added that the proposed plant is still under review by the State Corporation Commission and Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality.