Congressman Sherman Applauds Funding of U.S.-Israel Energy Programs
Washington, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2018 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill that includes $2 million in funding for the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperative Agreement and $4 million in funding for the development of the U.S.-Israel Energy Center.
In April, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) led a bipartisan group of 102 members of Congress in sending a letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development requesting funding for these programs (to view the letter click here.) Sherman wrote the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act which was enacted in 2007.
“This is the highest level of funding for joint U.S-Israel energy programs in our countries’ histories. Funding these two programs will further assist our countries in achieving energy independence, and will improve our environment and national security,” Sherman said.
“When people think of Israel, they think of tsuris, but what they should think of is science,” said Sherman. “In the past, when someone heard that something big had happened in Israel, they may have asked: where was the terrorist attack and how many people died? In the future, when somebody hears that something big has happened in Israel, they will ask: what did the Israelis invent and how many lives will it save?”
To date, the U.S. government has provided $15.7 million for the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperative Agreement, matched dollar-for-dollar by the Israeli government. The program has already leveraged over $37 million in private sector investment. This is a competitive grant program for early-stage companies that is designed to connect the U.S. and Israeli private sectors. Its mandate was expanded in 2014 to cover collaborative Research and Development (R&D) into renewable technologies, natural gas, and water – key areas of interest for the United States.
Funding for the U.S.-Israel Energy Center (“Center of Excellence”) will bring to fruition a project that Congress, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Government of Israel have worked on for the past two years. The Center of Excellence will include joint R&D and academic and technology transfer ventures in areas such as thermal power, wastewater treatment, desalination, clean energy, produced water, natural gas, and protection of critical infrastructure through cyber security.