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Pope Francis Challenges U.S. on Climate Change

by Elizabeth Alford on September 23, 2015

Pope Francis is capitalizing on his historic visit to the United States to highlight his call for more aggressive action on climate change.

Related:  ALEC Doesn’t Deny Climate Change 

Speaking to a huge crowd at the White House today the leader of the Catholic Church continued his message, urging the world to phase out highly-polluting fossil fuels. He said that the issue of climate change is critical and is a moral issue because it has an even more of a harmful impact on those living in poverty

Some are wondering if the Pope’s message is at odds with the business practices of some U.S. dioceses and Catholic institutions who are leasing drilling rights to oil and gas companies.

“There may be some kind of inconsistency here between what the pope has said and what the Church is doing in U.S. oil and gas country,” said Mickey Thompson, a consultant and former director of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.

U.S. Catholic institutions have millions of dollars invested in energy companies, hydraulic fracturing and oil sands producers,  according to Reuters,  as many as 235 oil and gas leasing deals have been signed by almost Catholic institutions in Texas and Oklahoma since 2010. It should be noted that none of the leases in Texas were signed after the Pope’s announcement.

There is no evidence about how many of these investments by the Church are in more controversial fracking technologies.

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