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Reform Jewish Leader Responds to Passage of Senate Energy Bill

Pelavin: By increasing CAFE standards—as well as passing other efficiency provisions—the Senate has displayed its commitment to preserving our natural resources and protecting the earth for future generations.

Contact: Sean Thibault or Marc Katz
news@rac.org | 202.387.2800

June 22, 2007 | Washington, DC— In response to the passage of the Senate energy bill—H.R. 6—Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We applaud the passage of the Senate energy bill, which will create new, stronger efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings, invest billions of dollars in biofuel research and production and ensure a long-overdue raise in Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFÉ).  Furthermore we applaud the Senate for blocking efforts to include provisions that would be environmentally degrading, such as increased coal production and drilling in environmentally sensitive areas.

It has been nearly two decades since current fuel economy standards were raised and the inclusion of the CAFE standards increase is an essential element of this important legislation.  The provisions in this energy package will significantly increase automobile fuel efficiency, saving 1.2 million barrels of oil a day by 2020, and helping to slow the effects of global warming. By increasing CAFE standards—as well as passing other efficiency provisions—the Senate has displayed its commitment to preserving our natural resources and protecting the earth for future generations.

Yet despite these advances, we are disappointed by the Senate’s failure to pass Sen. Bingaman’s renewable energy amendment that sought to require major electric utilities to produce 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020.  Failing to pass this provision is a failure to ensure a sustainable and secure energy future. 

As Reform Jews, we are taught to care for our earth and preserve our natural resources. The Senate’s energy bill is a much-needed step in that direction, and we are hopeful that the House will build on the Senate’s successes during its consideration of these issues in the coming weeks.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis



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