House Approves Shadegg-Sherman Bill on U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation
The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved and sent to the Senate bipartisan legislation by Congressmen Brad Sherman and John Shadegg to fund joint research by Americans and Israelis into alternative energy sources.
"Cutting-edge research by top scientists from the United States and Israel could reduce our reliance on foreign oil by promoting more efficient uses of traditional energy sources and by developing energy alternatives," Sherman said.
The Shadegg-Sherman legislation would establish in the Department of Energy an International Energy Advisory Board to advise the secretary on the $20-million-a-year grant program authorized by the bill. The United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act would encourage cooperation on research, development, and commercialization of alternative energy, improved energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
The bill received an important boost when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert commended the idea during a May 24 address to a special joint session of Congress.
The United States and Isr ael, Olmert said, "share a desire for energy security." The legislation would "increase efforts to find advanced scientific and technological solutions designed to develop new energy sources," the prime minister added. Sherman called the prime minister's comments "a welcome contribution to the important discussion about how we can reduce our reliance on foreign oil."
Sherman was the lone sponsor of the legislation in the last Congress, and reintroduced the bill with Shadegg earlier in this session of Congress.
The measure would build on existing joint research efforts by the United States and Israel which already have yielded scientific breakthroughs in the fields of life sciences, medicine, bioengineering, agriculture, biotechnology and communications.