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Brite Divinity School encourages faith-based clean energy movement

Texans like to be number one, and Director of the TCU Institute for Environmental Studies Michael Slattery said they can be in the advancement of wind power turbines.

The Brite Divinity School and Texas Impact, a statewide interfaith organization, brought in six speakers Monday to discuss the ways the faith-based community could contribute to the clean energy movement.

Clergy members, leaders of congregations and various academic professionals met for nearly five hours in the Dee J. Kelly Alumni Center to discuss Texas’ energy sources, energy and the economy and the responsibility the religious community has to these issues.

Slattery was just one of the speakers from different backgrounds and areas of study brought in to speak to the group. While Slattery said he was not religiously affiliated, he said he understood the importance of Texas having clean energy.

Slattery’s presentation focused on the possibility of wind turbines creating energy across Texas. He told his audience that if Texas was its own country, it would be fourth in wind power production behind China, Germany and Spain.

He said the focus on alternative energy sources is due to the rising air quality issues in North Texas and the area of Houston. Slattery said one wind turbine could provide energy to 300 to 400 homes.

Another topic of discussion was conservation across the state, featuring David Wogan, graduate research assistant at the University of Texas at Austin.

Wogan said Texas was still moving forward with fossil fuels and the best way to save resources was through simple conservation.

The event ended with a discussion moderated by Tim Hessel-Robinson, the Alberta H. and Harold L. Lunger assistant professor of spiritual disciplines and resources. The group discussed ways religious leaders could respond to conservation issues.

Executive Director of Texas Impact Bee Moorhead said that along with Christian Life Commission, the Brite Divinity School and Texas Impact were working together to hold a series of these events to bring the faith community to the public’s discussions about energy.

“In Fort Worth we work very closely with Brite, and we have a number of speakers from Brite and TCU including people from University Christian Church,” Moorhead said. “It’s been a very close collaboration,” Moorhead said. “It’s been great and we’ve been really appreciative of Brite’s leadership.”

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