From: Jennifer Kefer, COEJL Climate and Energy Program Coordinator
Re: Energy Bill
Action: Urge Your Members of Congress to vote for the Energy Bill.
The Jewish community has long advocated for energy policies that reduce our dependence on foreign oil, sustain our fragile environment and build a robust national economy. These goals are particularly meaningful during the festival of Chanukah, when we celebrate the miracle of one day’s oil that met 8 days’ needs. This Wednesday, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a new compromise version of the Energy Bill that would similarly extend our limited resources. This bill represents a bipartisan compromise that makes significant strides toward reducing energy consumption while helping our national economy.
This summer, both the House and Senate approved separate Energy Bills (HR-6/ HR- 3221), with the intent of combining those measures into a single, stronger bill. Combined, the bills include essential measures to improve automotive efficiency, reward energy conservation and spur development of alternative power sources. In particular, the Senate version mandates a 40% improvement in fuel efficiency standards (increasing fuel economy to 35 mpg) by 2020. This is the first time fuel economy has been significantly strengthened since 1985. The improved standard could save 1.2-million barrels of oil a day when implemented, save consumers $25 billion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. The House bill requires that 15% of our electricity production be generated from renewable resources (like wind) by 2020. This measure would cut carbon dioxide emissions by 222 million tons when implemented. The House bill also includes a Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires that we use 36 billion gallons of home-grown fuels in our gas tanks and home heating systems over the same time frame. The package also includes the United States Israel Energy Cooperation Act, a provision that would promote cooperation on energy-related research between Israel and the United States.
This Wednesday, the House will vote on a compromise bill, which includes variations of these key provisions. The Senate is expected to take up the legislation shortly thereafter. The legislation provides an important step toward putting America on the path to greater energy security, a cleaner environment, and a stronger national economy.
Encourage your members of Congress to vote YES on this landmark legislation.