WEB EXTRA: Rep. Israel, GW grad, visits College Democrats

Congressman Steven Israel (D-N Y), a 1983 alum, spoke to students Wednesday about our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and Iran’s “unknown vulnerability.”

The Congressman urged students to start thinking about what the world will be like for future generations at the event, which the College Democrats hosted and the Jewish Student Association and the Student Alliance for Israel co-sponsored.

Israel serves as chair and co-chair on several committees including the House Center Aisle Caucus and the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Defense and Military.

Israel explained to the crowd of about 40 students that as the population continues to increase around the world, the next generation of leaders must be conscious of the conditions for those at the top, middle and bottom of the socio-economic ladder. Forecasts suggest that the world’s population will be approximately 8.3 billion by the year 2030.

“If we make the wrong decisions today, these (people in the middle) will collapse. That has never happened before – the decisions one generation makes (will have) a profound impact on the next generation,” Israel said.

Besides urging young people to be involved in the direction of their generation, Israel urged that one of our main priorities should be to “end the 30-year suicidal dependence on foreign oil” in order to secure a better future for the following generations.

“For me, energy is not just a pocket issue. It is a national security imperative,” he said. “If we don’t end this oil dependency, your kids and their kids are going to be diseased.”

Michael Weil, director of Communications for the College Democrats, agreed with the urgency of this issue. “This is the issue of our time – energy security – and the ideas that Mr. Israel laid out deserve serious consideration,” Weil wrote in an e-mail.

The Congressman said that in 1978 the nation’s percentage of renewable energy was at 6 percent. Renewable energy is defined as energy from regenerative resources that cannot be depleted. Nearly 30 years later, this percentage has not changed.

Israel cited China as America’s number one competitor for energy. The country has also just announced that it is increasing its military.

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