Whereas Jewish tradition has derived from the Torah the principles of bal tashhit, "Do not waste" (Deut. 20:19);
Whereas the situation in the Middle East continues to escalate and our own country has engaged in armed conflict with Iraq, it is critical for the United States to reduce our reliance on imported oil;
Whereas energy independence should be seen as a primary strategy of the War on Terrorism;
Whereas the proliferation of SUV's, has created great safety hazards for our society, where occupants of cars caught in collisions with SUV's are many times more likely to die than occupants of SUV's; and
Whereas the United States must bear a disproportionate responsibility for global greenhouse gas emissions.
Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly call upon the Administration and the Congress to create a long-term, responsible, sustainable energy strategy that dramatically reduces U.S. oil consumption beginning with substantially increasing fuel economy so as to preserve the national security of the United States;
Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly call upon the Administration and Congress to set a single standard for all passenger vehicles that challenges the automobile industry to adopt the technologies that already have a proven capacity to dramatically increase fuel economy without compromising safety;
Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly call upon America's automobile manufacturers to recognize the grave consequences that SUVs pose to the environment and the safety of motorists, and to take significant voluntary measures through their technological ingenuity to produce safer, more responsible vehicles; and
Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly call upon all constituents of the Conservative Movement to consider the moral implications of their choices concerning the vehicles they use, to purchase vehicles that have the highest fuel economy that meet their needs, and to use public transit, carpool, walk or bike whenever they can.
Passed by the Rabbinical Assembly Plenum, April, 2003