A petition signed by thousands of religious leaders and lay people across the country will be delivered to Congress and the President today urging them not to falter on investing in clean energy and green jobs. As the Senate prepares to vote on the economic stimulus package, behind-the-scenes deals threaten to weaken the green stimulus package.

The petition will be delivered by the Reverend Canon Sally Bingham, president and founder of the national Interfaith Power and Light organization, and the Reverend Richard Cizik, an Evangelical leader who was named among TIME magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in 2008.

"When billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake, it is a moral issue. When the planet is in peril, it is a moral issue," Rev. Bingham said. "Investment in clean energy and green jobs is an expression of our values. It will create jobs for those who most need them, and help us to reduce emissions quickly which we must do if we are to avert the worst impacts of global warming."

The petition calls on the President and Congressional leaders to "act quickly to ensure the future of our planet and generations to come" by moving away from a petroleum-based economy that has dire implications for the Earth.

"Global warming is a moral crisis that people of faith care deeply about," the petition reads.

Among the petition's specific demands:

Make climate policies equitable by providing energy efficiency to low-income families and creating 5 million green-collar jobs.

Green the electricity sector by maximizing energy efficiency, modernizing the grid, and greatly expanding power generation from renewable energy resources.

Cap emissions and auction the permits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

Cease construction of all new coal-fired power plants until and unless carbon emissions can be captured and permanently sequestered.

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