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RCA Advocates Steps to Reduce Oil Consumption
The RCA urges the reduction of America's dependence on oil.
Policies Headlines
May 18, 2006 -- Whereas America’s oil dependence endangers our economic and national security; and,
Whereas continued dependence on fossil fuels is going to bring on climate change that will affect the delicate ecological balance of God's creation; and,
Whereas transportation is the lifeblood of the US economy; and,
Whereas oil fuels 97% of the transportation in the US; and,
Whereas oil imports currently account for 58 percent of total US consumption and the Federal Energy Information Agency predicts that oil imports in 2025 will rise to 60 percent of total US consumption; and,
Whereas the federal Energy Information Agency forecasts total US oil consumption to increase by 24% from 2004 to 2025; and,
Whereas the United States is the world’s largest consumer of oil, accounting for one-quarter of global demand despite holding less than 3 percent of the world’s oil reserves; and,
Whereas oil is a fungible global commodity that essentially has a single benchmark price with little meaningful distinction between “foreign” and “domestic” oil, and a country’s exposure to the costs and vulnerabilities of oil dependence is a function of how much oil it consumes and not the ratio of “domestic” to “imported” product; and,
Whereas the oil export market is dominated by countries in unstable regions of the world beset by violent religious, ethnic, and political conflict as well as countries that do not share American democratic values; and,
Whereas U.S. reliance on oil empowers international adversaries such as Iran and Venezuela and undermines our efforts to support democratic allies, especially Israel; and,
Whereas revenues from oil sales have likely funded terrorism or support structures for terrorism and has supported institutions that support hatred against America and opposition to American interests; and,
Whereas Al-Qaeda and other terrorists have attacked oil interests abroad and have stated their intention to attack vulnerable supplies and routes in the future; and,
Whereas the tremendous and unprecedented economic growth of developing economies such as China has dramatically increased their demand for oil and has caused them to go to great lengths sometimes contrary to US interests to secure independent deals with major oil exporting countries; and,
Whereas oil imports account for at least one-quarter of the US trade deficit, requiring the US to borrow money from foreign governments; and,
Whereas the United States economy has been relatively insulated from some of the more potentially devastating consequences of oil dependence due to spare production capacity and other surplus conditions; and,
Whereas U.S. energy policy has focused on increasing and diversifying supply, establishing strategic reserves, and relying on Saudi Arabia to act as the “swing producer” to moderate prices while periods of conservation, efficiency, and the development of alternative fuels have been irregular; and,
Whereas growing global demand and declining surplus conditions, including spare production capacity in Saudi Arabia that may be less than 1 million barrels per day, creates the very real possibility of a severe supply shortage; and,
Whereas a number of long-term policy options are available that would significantly reduce our exposure to the tremendous costs and potentially devastating effects of oil dependence;

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Rabbinical Council of America that it calls upon all rabbis to:
Advocate for a meaningful reduction of America’s oil dependence;
Educate about America’s oil dependence and solutions to address this national security threat;
Actively support organizations committed to a meaningful reduction of America’s oil dependence;
Urge Members of Congress and other public officials to enact legislation to reduce America’s oil dependence, including the expansion of domestic areas designated for oil drilling;
Purchase the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the class of car they wish to drive; and
Encourage their congregants to do the same.

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