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Jewish Groups Fight Repeal of Clean Energy Law in Calif.

Jewish Groups Fight Repeal of Clean Energy Law in Calif.

(JTA) — A coalition of Jewish organizations in California is waging a campaign against a ballot proposition they say would hurt efforts to wean the United States off foreign oil.

Proposition 23 effectively would repeal the Global Warming Solutions Act, a California law that established a timetable to bring the state in line with environmental standards set in the Kyoto Protocol. While the United States is not party to that treaty, California has sought to go beyond U.S. requirements and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

Some 55 Jewish individuals and groups that oppose Prop 23 penned an open letter to rabbis and community leaders around the state urging them to vote against it and thereby uphold the law.

"The passage of Prop 23 will significantly slow the development of the clean economy that is helping to power California out of recession," the groups wrote.

The Northern California co-chairman of AJC’s Energy Security Task Force, Jonathan Axelrad, who helped organize the letter, told JTA that repealing the bill would hurt U.S. and Israeli national security by slowing the development of technologies that would wean the world off foreign oil.

Signatories to the letter include the American Jewish Committee, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Hazon.

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