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AJC Presents Energy Plan in Washington Consultations

June 22, 2011 – Washington – AJC energy activists from across the United States gathered in the nation’s capital for intensive advocacy in support of dramatic reductions in U.S. dependence on foreign oil. AJC’s targeted energy security plan, developed by AJC’s National Energy Committee, was presented in meetings with top policymakers at the White House and the Departments of Energy and the Interior, as well as with key Senators and Representatives.

“Our national security is imperiled by the ongoing failure to substantially, and aggressively, reduce our dependence on imported oil to feed our insatiable energy appetite,” said Richard Foltin, AJC Director of National and Legislative Affairs. AJC, a global advocacy organization, has for more than 40 years called for concrete, forward-looking measures to strengthen American energy security.

“Instead of weaning the nation off of its addiction to foreign oil, inaction has left the United States much more dependent on that energy source today than we were at the time of the 1973 oil embargo,” said  Foltin. “Clearly, the patient is not healthy, but the remedies are readily available if we mobilize to act.”

AJC’s national energy plan lays out a strategy to reduce total current U.S. imports of petroleum and petroleum products by a minimum of 2.75 – 3.25 million barrels a day by 2020. This goal can be achieved through reductions in energy consumption by further strengthening fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks; expanding the availability and variety of alternative fuel vehicles; and increasing production of domestic oil and gas from shale, with appropriate attention to environmental safeguards.

“Importantly, we can begin to achieve the goals set forth in our plan by using available technology,” said Foltin. “Should ground-breaking developments in technology emerge, initiatives AJC strongly supports, the U.S. will be able to move even more quickly toward dramatically reducing our dependence on—and our strategic vulnerability with respect to--oil imported from hostile countries.”

Over a two-day period, the AJC group met with top energy policymakers, including Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes; Senator Ron Wyden, who is Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests; and Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs David Sandalow. 

"There is a strong interest on both sides of the aisle in AJC's energy plan, a desire to work with us, and a potential for substantial movement toward the goal of reducing petroleum imports if U.S. policymakers remain focused, and Americans come together across partisan and ideological divisions,” said Foltin.