JCPA opposes weakening fuel efficiency


Jewish Council for Public Affairs opposed an amendment that would have reduced
fuel economy standards proposed for U.S. automobile manufacturers.

The amendment
proposed by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) to the
Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficiency Act would have reduced
the act’s proposal for a combined trucks-cars 35 miles per gallon average fuel
economy by 2020 to 36 mpg for cars by 2022 and 30 mpg for trucks by 2025.

amendment would increase our oil dependence by 800,000 barrels per day, raise
the nation’s gasoline costs by $31 billion in 2020, add 139 million metric tons
of carbon into the atmosphere and open even more loopholes by letting carmakers
postpone compliance for up to five years,” the JCPA, the umbrella group
for Jewish outreach organizations, wrote in a letter sent to all senators on
Tuesday. “This is unacceptable.”

letter cites Jewish tradition. “The principle of ‘Bal Tashchit’,
prohibiting destruction, appears many times in the Torah,” it says.
“The Talmud clarifies that this principle also applies to wasting

the amendment was withdrawn at the last minute in a compromise that kept the 35
mpg by 2020 goal in place, but cut out a requirement that fuel efficiency
increase by four percent per year thereafter. The act passed Thursday night.

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