Sen. Landrieu Introduces US-Israel Energy Cooperation Bill
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu introduced a bipartisan bill today that aims to bolster energy relations with Israel.
The U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Enhancement Bill aims to strengthen energy collaboration between the two nations "by encouraging increased cooperation" between their "academic, business, governmental and other sectors," according to a press release from Landrieu's office.
The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Wyden and Murkowski are the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, respectively.
Israel discovered an estimated 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — known as the Leviathan field — in the Mediterranean Sea in 2010, nearly doubling its total natural gas reserves to an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet, according to Landrieu's office.
"This may be able to satisfy Israel’s domestic gas demand with enough left over to export for years to come," the release continued.
With the discovery of the Leviathan field, Israel has the opportunity to achieve energy independence, boost its economy through natural gas exports and enhance its security. This is an incredible chance for the U.S. to share our energy expertise to support a critical ally, while creating economic opportunities here at home. Louisiana arguably has the most advanced offshore oil and gas industry in the world, and we are uniquely qualified to lead the effort to help Israel develop this resource.
This is the latest development in Landrieu's ongoing efforts to increase U.S.-Israel energy collaboration. She joined the Department of Commerce and the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance to organize oil and gas trade missions to Israel in October 2011 and 2012.
Landrieu also helped organize domestic visits from Israeli officials in 2012 to tour Port Fourchon, the Central Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale in New Orleans and the Liquefied Natural Gas facility in Cameron Parish.