Saperstein: "While we are encouraged by the introduction of this long-awaited legislation, it must be improved to make the investments necessary to build a truly secure energy and environmental future."
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WASHINGTON, D.C., May 12, 2010 - In response to the introduction of the American Power Act, comprehensive climate and energy legislation in the United States Senate, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:
As the ongoing disaster in the Gulf makes clear yet again, now is the time to move rapidly to a clean energy economy. While we are encouraged by the introduction of this long-awaited legislation, it must be improved to make the investments necessary to build a truly secure energy and environmental future.
The Reform Jewish community remains committed to the transition from dangerous and polluting fossil fuels - both foreign and domestic - to a clean energy economy that protects human and ecological health even while it enhances our energy independence. We urge the Senate to pass legislation that invests in true clean and renewable energy solutions and minimizes unsustainable or dangerous alternatives including offshore oil drilling and nuclear energy until pollution, waste disposal, and safety issues are resolved.
We also stand with our allies throughout the faith community in acknowledging the framework for international adaptation in the American Power Act, while calling on the Senate to strengthen the international provisions of this legislation. The poorest and most vulnerable around the world are already confronting climate change effects as we begin to debate this bill today, and we must ensure that those least responsible for the problem of climate change are not left hopeless and helpless without resources to confront its consequences.
We commend Senator Kerry and Senator Lieberman for their tireless efforts to move this process forward, and urge the Senate to come together to confront the climate and energy challenge. The Reform Jewish community stands ready to work with the Senate and Administration to strengthen this legislation and pass a comprehensive climate bill to grow our economy, protect our planet, and increase our energy security.