"Israel will become one of the first three countries in the world, after Norway and the Netherlands, to ban the import of diesel and gasoline fueled cars, from 2030," Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz said today at a conference of the Israeli Institute of Energy and the Environment.
Steinintz said that a new master plan for developing the energy economy that his ministry was promoting would be based on switching transport in Israel to electricity and natural gas. He added that he regarded reducing air pollution to a minimum as no less important a goal than developing Israel's natural gas reservoirs. "We will breathe clean air, and no NIMBY opposition will stop us," Steinitz said, referring to demonstrators from the Hadera area objecting to the construction of shore installations for natural gas, who disrupted his speech.
Steinitz called the proposed reform of the Israel Electric Corporation "tremendous", and said it was "better than any proposal made so far." The reform agreement has not yet been signed because of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wish to proceed with a petition to the High Court of Justice against the company's workers committee and the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel). Referring to reports of a dispute with Lebanon on the maritime border, Steinitz said, "If a diplomatic solution is feasible, we prefer that, but we shall defend our interests."
Steinitz devoted the main part of his speech to the agreement between the government and the gas companies on development of the gas fields. "When I came into the Energy Ministry, they told me that the public panic over the gas issue, which perhaps I had caused because of Sheshinski, would prevent me from doing anything. They told me, 'Leviathan, Karish and Tanin are dead'. I ask you today, is the gas agreement a success? It's a huge success. Within less than two years, two agreements have been signed, with Jordan and Egypt, worth $25 billion, and with options it's likely to reach $30 billion. This has the value of strengthening the axis of peace, because these are the first major export deals between Israel and these Arab countries since peace treaties were signed with them. This is a geopolitical achievement that became possible thanks to the gas agreement."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 27, 2018
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