Dear Chairman Simpson and Ranking Member Kaptur,
We are writing to request that the subcommittee provide at least $2 million for the implementation of the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperative Agreement in the FY2016 Energy and Water Appropriations bill.
This funding will be utilized to further implement Section 917 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, P.L. 110-140, and the May 2008 agreement between the U.S. and Israel on strategic energy cooperation. As you are aware, Congress recently passed, and the President signed into law, the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-296). Among other important provisions, the measure reauthorized the cooperative energy program through 2024 and expanded its mandate, covering collaborative R&D into renewable technologies, natural gas and water -- key areas of interest for the United States.
We greatly appreciate the support your subcommittee has provided for this program in the past. The U.S. government has provided $11.7 million for the program since its inception. The funding has been fully matched by the Government of Israel; this is not an aid program. During the same period, the program has also leveraged over $27 million in private sector cost-sharing.
This program is an important tool in our efforts to achieve greater energy security and independence, and leverages small grant dollars to incentivize private sector innovation and new partnerships in the pursuit of a critical objective. U.S.-Israel projects currently underway include 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.
Continued funding for the program will provide for collaborative U.S. and Israeli research and development efforts in areas critical to both the United States and Israel and unite our countries in the pursuit of increased energy security, energy independence and water efficiency -- an issue of growing importance to much of the U.S. West and Southwest, and an area where Israel is truly the world leader.
Companies across the U.S. are working through this program to develop cutting-edge technologies with new partners in Israel in order to advance America's energy security. Furthermore, the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperative Agreement facilitates greater cooperation and sharing of knowledge between American and Israeli universities.
Collaboration between the American and Israeli private sector and academia will significantly enhance U.S. efforts to develop new technologies to the benefit of our economic and national security.
We thank you for your consideration and for your prior support of this program and request your continued support for FY2016.
Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Peter Roskam (R-IL)
Peter King (R-NY)
Bill Johnson (R-OH)