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As Congress Fails to Act, Reform Jewish Leader Renews Call for Comprehensive Energy Policy

Saperstein: “We call upon members of Congress and the Administration to move beyond old ideas and put our nation on the path to a clean energy future.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Rachel Cohen
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, DC, September 26, 2008 — In response to Congress’s decision to let the moratorium on new offshore oil drilling permits expire, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We are deeply disappointed by Congress’s failure to enact energy policy that addresses current environmental and economic needs with an eye to the future. We will soon see the expiration of the nearly 30-year moratorium on new drilling permits in much of the environmentally sensitive Outer Continental Shelf. Drilling does nothing to move our nation forward on the path to clean energy, but rather reinforces the fallacious notion that we can solve our energy crisis with the tired mantra of “more oil.” Congress’s inaction on this issue once again illustrates the need for a comprehensive and progressive national energy strategy.

Our Jewish tradition commands us to protect God’s creation. The biblical concept of Bal Tashchit (do not destroy) and our mandate to “till and tend” our natural world (Genesis 2:15) emphasize the need to act as stewards of our environment, promoting clean energy to ensure a safer and more beautiful world for ourselves and our children.

We call upon members of Congress and the Administration to move beyond old ideas and put our nation on the path to a clean energy future. We commend those who spoke out for long-term environmental and economic security, and will continue to support their efforts. We look forward to working with members of the 111th Congress to reinstate the moratorium on new drilling permits and put us on the path to a smart energy future.

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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 1,800 Reform rabbis.



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