Culture, Religion

P.M Champions Alternative Energy Bill

Oil dependency emerges as priority for organized Jewish community
One of the obstacles for many of us in the Jewish community concerned with our dependency on oil is that when we explain why this is a Jewish issue, we are greeted with disbelief that this is truly a specific concern to the Jewish community, or even if it is, not one that need be a priority. It isn’t that Jewish an issue.
But it is.  Because of the disproportionate power oil rich Middle Eastern countries have on geopolitical considerations, and the lack of oil in the Jewish state, this is a Jewish issue which affects realpolitik considerations.  
And now it is finally being recognized as such.  Thanks to the Prime Minister of Israel.
The Forward reports,

A plug from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given new life to congressional legislation granting Israel $120 million over five years for energy research and development, Jewish organizational officials said.
The breakthrough on Capitol Hill is being credited to Olmert’s May 24 speech to a joint session of Congress, during which he mentioned American-Israeli cooperation in developing alternative energy sources[…] Communal leaders say that the prime minister’s remarks have energized the efforts of Jewish organizations to push the legislation.
“Olmert’s speech really gave our efforts momentum both on Capitol Hill and within the Jewish community,” said Hadar Susskind, Washington director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs[…] Although Jewish groups have been deeply involved in attempts to shape America’s energy policy, they have not aggressively mobilized to support or oppose specific energy legislation in recent years. This bill, Jewish activists said, could provide a focus and a cause for the Jewish community on the issue.
“This bill is a small part of a larger effort to get more involved in energy policy,” said Neil Goldstein, executive director of the American Jewish Congress. […] “We believe that what is needed is a project on the scale of a Manhattan Project or an Apollo Project,” Goldstein said. “We believe that this is of such grave consequence for the U.S. and the Western world that it really deserves that kind of attention. Our bill is a very small piece of that.”

This is the best news I have heard in a long time.  It used to be that the Prime Minister of Israel would come to the U.S. merely to collect money.
Now it seems he also comes to give the Jewish community a much needed kick in the ass.
The Prime Minister hath spoken. And U.S. Jewish organizations concur.
Alternative energy is a Jewish issue. And must be a priority.

10 thoughts on “P.M Champions Alternative Energy Bill

  1. The Jewish organization that has been doing the most to address oil issues is The Shalom Center. Thier project, ‘Beyond Oil’ focuses narrowly on oil, as opposed to energy; and it takes into account the role that Big Oil plays in US politics, and the role of ‘peak oil’ in explaining the motives of the US invasion of Iraq.
    I’d love to see an analysis of what has kept major US Jewish organizations away from dealing with this issue; perhaps thier reluctance to oppose Bush and his most important constituency?

  2. Why would reducing our dependence on oil considered a ‘fiscal left’ issue? (not a jab – I’m curious…)
    I thought it would fall under the catogories of reducing political corruption, improving national security, protecting the environment, addressing global scorching, improving our trade balance, etc.

  3. Kelsey- you’re my favorite poster on Jewschool. And I’m glad that this issue in particular is being addressed, because it’s about time. Wouldn’t Israel’s situation change drastically if the world was not as dependent on the Middle East’s oil? Wouldn’t the world just be a better place in general if we didn’t use so much oil?
    Seriously, and isn’t riding a bike so much more fulfilling anyway?

  4. G-D Squad,
    Of course it would. It is the single most obvious thing that would change the dynamics of engagement with the Middle East. And great bike picture!

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