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E-M:/ Press Release: People of Faith Gather to Pray for the Earth



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Enviro-Mich message from Michele Scarborough <mec@voyager.net>
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Contacts:
Kim Winchell (517) 695-2402
Interfaith Global Warming Campaign

Catherine Greener (810) 914-0941
Southeastern Michigan Council on the Environment and Jewish Life

Lana Pollack (517) 487-9539
Michigan Environmental Council


NEWS RELEASE: March 22, 2000



              PEOPLE OF FAITH GATHER TO PRAY FOR THE EARTH

      Event to kick off countdown to 30th Anniversary of Earth day
                 brings awareness of dirty coal plants

  People of faith express deep public concern about air and water– cite
                                  poll



Trenton, MI  --- People of faith and environmental advocates joined
hands 30 days before Earth Day to pray for a cleaner planet.

Members of diverse religious communities came together today with
environmentalists in front of the Trenton Channel Power Plant united in
their concern for the health of the planet and determined to gain the
support of Michigan government and business leaders for a cleaner state.
Religious leaders from across Southeast Michigan called for business and
government leaders to join them in promoting a healthier atmosphere for
Michigan residents and asked that Trenton Channel and other dirty old
coal plants be cleaned up or closed down.

“We gather together to pray for the children and the elderly who suffer
most from this pollution and for wisdom for our leaders to consider the
needs of Michigan citizens to breathe fresh air,” said Kim Winchell of
the Michigan Interfaith Global Warming Campaign.  “This particular dirty
coal burning plant is an example of the worst kind of heavy polluters.
It spews almost 4 million TONS of carbon dioxide and an unbelievable 339
pounds of mercury every year contributing to smog, respiratory disease,
global warming and worse,” Winchell stated.

The religious leaders expressed concern over the severe health problems
associated with dirty power plants; they advocated for realistic and
achievable means of clearing the air.  “Other nations and other states
have already taken the lead, proving that alternative fuels,
co-generation and energy efficiency can meet our energy needs,” said
Catherine Greener, Co-Chair of the Southeastern Michigan Coalition on
the Environment and Jewish Life (SEMCOEJL).

The prayer gathering arose out of a discussion on how to bring
Michigan’s business and government leaders into line with the public’s
concern for clean water and air.  They cited a newly released poll
published by the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, which
found that Michigan residents want stronger laws and better enforcement
of existing laws. Of the 1200 likely voters who were polled, 75 % said
they favor creating tougher laws to protect air quality in Michigan and
86% want tougher enforcement of existing laws to protect air quality.

“The call for better enforcement of current laws and a crackdown on
dirty coal plants like Trenton Channel is a common thread throughout all
of Michigan. Whether Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or Catholic, the concern
for our air is universal,” said Lana Pollack of the Michigan
Environmental Council.

                                 - 30 -

--
Michele Scarborough
Member Services Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste. 2A
Lansing, MI 48917
(517) 487-9539
FAX (517) 487-9541
mec@voyager.net



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