Open Letter to Governor DeSantis (please share as it is appropriate) Tampa, May 2, 2019
Ban Fracking, for the Love of God
Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo
As a Venezuelan-American, a Presbyterian Pastor, and Coordinator of GreenFaith Florida, I have witnessed how people representing diverse religious and spiritual traditions, all of whom are concerned about the environment, feel called to love and protect Earth as an act of faith. For me personally, Loving God as Creator and loving God’s Creation need to go hand in hand, or else my faith is weak. Across our many faith traditions in Florida, we are joining in solidarity to ban fracking, and calling for Governor DeSantis to deliver on the promise he made upon taking office: to oppose all forms of fracking in the State of Florida.
Governor DeSantis, we are calling on you to uphold the values shared by so many of our fellow Floridians, including the Judeo-Christian values that were observed throughout our state during this past Holy Week, Easter, and Passover celebrations. Holy Week reminds Christians about God’s love for the natural world (John 3:16) and how, through Christ, God wanted “to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:20b)
My faith in Christ calls me to protect and to reconcile myself with all God has created. As we consider our calling to protect this land from pollution, we can also remember the words of Prophet Ezequiel saying: “Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?” (Ezekiel 34:18)
As a person of faith, we ask you to join us. Let us protect the beauty of Florida’s natural springs.
We must avoid all actions that could jeopardize such precious resources of clean, fresh water for people and animals alike. We already have enough water issues to deal with in our state. Why add one more to the list?
Help us to keep all our sources of water clean, Governor DeSantis. One needs only to meet our state—not as a favorite vacation or winter spot, but rather as the precious wetlands, swamps and marshes that it is—to know that its porous and sandy soils were not made to keep the water in just one place, let alone the dangerously potent chemicals and waste produced by fracking.
As a person of faith, we are not strangers to stories of paradise going wrong, when people do not follow the wisdom given to us to help guide our lives on the land. Fracking is a great harm to our paradise, Governor DeSantis. Let’s keep our Garden beautiful.
Fracking leaves communities burdened with health problems, damaged infrastructure, irreversible environmental impacts, and a weaker economy in the medium- and long-term. Earth is already giving us abundant energy for free, so why force the extraction of unsustainable resources?
God has blessed us with wind and sunshine. These natural resources already provide us with many sustainable, clean methods to boost our economies and meet our energy needs.
You are not alone in this fight, Governor DeSantis. As people of faith, we know that there are times when we need to make choices and decisions for the common good, rather than just for a select few … and we are ready!
We pray that you will recognize the blessing that we can make together if you, a single person among millions of others, can be the one who puts an end to the threat of fracking in Florida.
Please listen to the 90 cities and counties across the state that have passed local measures opposing fracking. Please listen to the people, follow the wisdom of the marshes. Please pass the statewide ban on fracking now without delay.
Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo, GreenFaith Florida Organizer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 815-519-8090
Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo
Director for Training and LatinoAmerica