Murkowski, Cantwell Call on Sec. Moniz to Work with Israel on Advancing Energy Innovation

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., the committee’s ranking member, on Thursday sent a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz seeking information on the department’s lack of movement on the U.S.-Israel Energy Center.

“We wrote to you on May 12, 2015, asking that you work to establish a cutting-edge, United States-Israel Energy Center focused on academic and industry research to advance energy innovation. Unfortunately, almost 11 months has passed without action demonstrating the Department’s intent to establish the center,” wrote the Senators in the letter.

The United States and Israel signed an agreement that was supported by a bill that became law on December 19, 2014. The agreement encourages energy cooperation between the two countries, including innovations in clean energy, water efficiency, and cybersecurity of energy and water infrastructure. It also agreed to establish a cutting-edge, U.S.-Israel Energy Center focused on academic and industry research to advance energy innovation.

In May 2015, Sens. Murkowski and Cantwell wrote to Secretary Moniz requesting that the department establish such a center. Nearly a year has passed without action demonstrating the Department of Energy’s intent to establish the center. The center would support technological and scientific innovation, increased energy security and mutual benefit for both countries.

Such a center has the potential to be a leading hub for innovation and research and development for global energy and water issues. It would include renewables, energy efficiency, water, enhanced natural gas reservoir development, cybersecurity of energy infrastructure and more.

Murkowski and Cantwell concluded the letter calling on the Energy Department to commence work on the center for the benefit of the United States and Israel.

Click here to view the letter.

Related Issues: Energy