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Energy Panel Approves Shadegg-Sherman Bill on U.S.-Israeli Energy Cooperation

Location: Washington, DC

Energy Panel Approves Shadegg-Sherman Bill on U.S.-Israeli Energy Cooperation

A House committee on Tuesday approved 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 hold the key to reducing our reliance on foreign oil," Sherman said. "We must promote efficient use of traditional energy sources as well as research into alternative energy sources," he added.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the Shadegg-Sherman legislation that would establish in the Department of Energy an International Energy Advisory Board. The board would advise the secretary on the seven-year, $20-million-a-year grant program authorized by the legislation.

The committee action clears the way for consideration by the full House of the measure to encourage cooperation on research, development, and commercialization of alternative energy, improved energy efficiency, or renewable energy sources.

The bill received an important boost last month when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert commended the idea during an address to a special joint session of Congress.

Olmert said the United States and Israel "share a desire for energy security." The United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act, the prime minister added, would "increase efforts to find advanced scientific and technological solutions designed to develop new energy sources."

Said Sherman, "The comments by the prime minister were a welcome contribution to the important discussion about how we can reduce our reliance on foreign oil."

The legislation builds on existing joint research efforts by the United States and Israel which already have made possible scientific breakthroughs in the fields of life sciences, medicine, bioengineering, agriculture, biotechnology and communications.

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