Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), along with Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY), and Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH), led a bipartisan group of 84 House members in a request (see attachment) to the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development for $2 million for the U.S.--Israel Energy Cooperation Program in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill.
The appropriations request this year included the highest number of signatories -- 84 members of Congress -- since the creation of the program in 2008.
"Funding for the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Program has advanced new and innovative energy projects. That 84 bipartisan members backed this year's annual funding request -- the most ever -- is a clear sign of Congress's support for this program. The House recently voted to expand this program into water technology, an important area for California and many other states. I will work with the Administration on further boosting funding for this program in future budgets."
Congressman Sherman wrote the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act in 2005. Congress ultimately enacted the legislation as Section 917 of a larger energy reform bill, the Energy Independence and Security Act, in December 2007.
The program funds research and development in energy technologies and energy efficiency in the American and Israeli private sectors. These projects include advancements in energy production over water reservoirs, lowering energy consumption for water treatment, energy optimization for manufacturers, wind energy storage, reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for tractor trailers, and noise control for distributed power generation. The Israeli government has committed to match U.S. appropriations dollar for dollar. The program is also designed to leverage matching contributions from both the Israeli and American private sectors; thus for every dollar Congress appropriates, three dollars are invested.
The request comes at a time when Congress and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, on which Sherman is a senior member, are focusing on U.S. energy security. The Committee held a hearing called "The Geopolitical Potential of the U.S. Energy Boom" on March 26th; the trade subcommittee, on which Sherman is Ranking Member, is holding a hearing on "Evaluating U.S. Energy Trade Policy" on April 2nd.