|AJC Oil Independence Conference in Sacramento|
TO: SAN DIEGO AJC MEMBERS AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIESDate: 3/14/2008 12:00:00 AM
FROM: ALAN NEVIN, CHAIR, ENERGY CONSERVATION COMMITTEE, SAN DIEGO CHAPTER AJC
DATE: 15 MARCH 2008
RE: AJC OIL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE IN SACRAMENTO
This past week, Executive Director Linda Feldman and I journeyed to Sacramento to attend an AJC energy conservation conference. The conference was a joint effort of the AJC chapters in San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles and the Bay area. The attendees were primarily leaders in the AJC energy conservation efforts.
In recent months, AJC has dramatically expanded its activities in energy conservation, with a particular emphasis on oil independence. AJC arranged for numerous speakers in the energy field as well as visitations with more than 20 members of the California legislature. Your San Diego delegation visited with State Senator Christine Kehoe and State Assemblyperson Lori Saldano, both of whom represent San Diego County and have a deep interest in energy conservation.
We learned that the state of California is the third largest consumer of transportation fuels in the world. The rest of the U.S. is No. 2 and China is No. 3. California utilizes 20 billion gallons of transportation fuel annually.
Further, California imports 45% of its oil which not only expands the state’s trade deficits, but weakens its economy and leaves California vulnerable to changing world events.
The majority of crude oil imports to California are from volatile and dangerous countries in the Middle East and South America, including Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Iraq. Last year, Californians used more than $8.0 billion of oil from Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
America’s dependence on imported oil grows daily. When President Nixon was in office, we imported 36% of our oil. Now it’s 65%.
The aim of the committee is to be instrumental in mitigating the inevitable dangers of a hostage position. Simultaneously, AJC believes that reasonable actions must be taken quickly to reduce or eliminate emissions that may play a significant role in climate change, much of which is the product of our transportation fuel usage.
Currently, there are several bills being discussed in the California legislature that would lead to reduced emissions. Many of the California bills are more stringent than the standards now set by Washington. The state of California is involved in litigation to force the Federal government to allow California (and 19 other states) to take more aggressive steps to improvement of the environment.
On balance, Linda and I both are convinced that AJC is providing exceptionally strong support to those elected officials who understand the need for oil independence.
This fall, our chapter is planning to host an oil independence conference in San Diego.
We’ll keep you informed.