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Unlikely Partners Back Climate Change Bill

A group of unlikely partners in Ohio has come together to support tougher environmental regulations. It urges Congress to pass the Climate Security Act. The group also wants Ohio to become a leader in alternative energy industries.

The Ohio coalition is a diverse group: sportsmen, religious denominations, green manufacturers. They all back passage of the Climate Security Act. They say the bill is a common sense environmental and economic response to what they describe as the escalating threat of climate change. Jim Wentz, a former state Division of Wildlife employee, says hunters have already seen what he calls 'unsettling environmental changes' in Ohio.

"Those of us who have been rabbit hunting for more than fifty years in this state, we find it unsettling to see butterflies flying around the week of Thanksgiving when we should be rabbit hunting with snows on the ground," Wentz says. "Lake Erie no longer freezes the way it once did. Duck hunters tell us they're worried less about coffee than bringing mosquito repellent."

The head of the organization known as Ohio Interfaith Power and Light says the group's mission is to mobilize a religious response to global warming, and to promote energy conservation and efficiency.

"Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming motivated by a love for our neighbors and the call to be responsible stewards of God's creation."

Director Greg Hitzhusen says his group sees global warming as a spiritual and a moral issue.

"We believe that climate change is one of the more pressing moral issues of our time especially since their impacts are weighing more heavily on the poor and vulnerable of the world."

The group touted the results of a survey commissioned by the National Wildlife Federation. 82 percent of voting Ohioans polled said confronting climate change should be a top priority.