This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

December 04, 2002

Religious Groups Seek to Make Driving a Moral Issue

We all know that driving a fuel-efficient vehicle, taking public transportation, joining a carpool, or walking or biking are good things to do in terms of traffic, air pollution, and U.S. energy security—but does that make them the correct moral choice? That is, is it immoral to drive an inefficient vehicle? Well, according to a group called the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), the answer is "yes." The group has launched a campaign aimed chiefly at Christians and asking, "What Would Jesus Drive?" The group draws on its faith to argue in favor of fuel efficiency. See the "What Would Jesus Drive?" Web site.

Expanding the discussion to a wider interfaith group, EEN recently joined with the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) and other religious groups to ask the top three automakers to make more fuel-efficient vehicles. The groups gathered signatures from over 100 senior religious leaders from 21 states and delivered them to Detroit on November 20th. See the COEJL press release.

Such involvement of religious groups in energy efficiency and renewable energy is a relatively recent and growing trend. As discussed in the August 21st edition of the EREN Network News, another recent example is the installation of a solar power system on a new Los Angeles cathedral. In addition, interfaith groups in California and Massachusetts have called for congregations to conserve energy and use energy efficient and renewable energy technologies.