February 25, 2007
America’s increasing dependence on foreign oil for transportation, electricity, industry and other uses poses great risks for our nation and the world, specifically threats to national security, economic stability, and the health of our environment. In particular, our dependence on foreign oil enriches some countries that are hostile to the United States and support terrorism. America’s growing energy consumption and reliance on foreign oil and other fossil fuels requires prompt action and the Jewish Council of Public Affairs calls upon our government to make this issue a top national priority.
The Jewish Council of Public Affairs has long been concerned with the United States’ ever-increasing use of non-renewable energy sources and the impact on our economy and the environment. In recent decades, JCPA has passed numerous resolutions addressing these concerns and has urged public officials and the United States government to act to preserve both our environment and our economic interests, but had not specifically addressed the security implications of our troubling dependence on foreign energy sources.
For more than three decades, elected officials and community leaders have spoken of the need to take immediate steps to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources but little has been done. Today, as the looming crisis grows in the American consciousness, and voices are heard calling out for vision and leadership by American business leaders and federal, state and local governments, the time has come to address the pressing energy emergency.
In order to achieve a substantial reduction in US dependence on imported energy sources, America must initiate a national campaign that employs creativity, collaboration, and commitment to develop a comprehensive energy plan that effectively addresses our dependence on foreign oil while taking into account the environmental, economic and other domestic needed changes.
The JCPA calls on Congress and the Administration to expeditiously address the urgent need to reduce the United States’ dependence on foreign oil by developing and implementing a comprehensive, environmentally sound energy plan. The JCPA believes such a multifaceted approach should include:
- Supporting the modernization and expansion of America’s energy infrastructure with sensitivity to our natural environment;
- Dramatically increasing energy efficiency and conservation;
- Rapidly developing, producing, and marketing renewable and alternative energy technologies;
- Developing and implementing environmentally responsible options to increase overall domestic energy production;
- Collaborate with international partners to develop global solutions;
- Diversifying foreign energy sources to reduce our reliance on hostile regimes;
- Expanding cost-efficient, energy-efficient alternatives to ensure that conservation is a viable option for all Americans;
- Improving mass transit options to reduce the consumption of oil by American vehicles;
- Supporting changes in urban and suburban communities that facilitate effective use of modes of transportation that do not consume external energy, such as cycling and walking;
- Offering economic and other incentives to purchase more fuel-efficient or alternatively-fueled vehicles and to rely upon public transportation;
- Mandating significant enhancements in fuel economy standards for all modes of transportation and improving mass transit options;
- Increasing public awareness through broad education campaigns;
- Exploring the use of nuclear energy with appropriate safeguards.