The House Committee on Appropriations included a funding earmark in its report on the bill (report number 112-118) which would provide $2 m. for a cooperative grant program conducted by U.S. Dept. of Energy and Israel’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. The program funds joint ventures by U.S. and Israeli private and public institutions conducting research, development, and commercialization projects related to improving energy efficiency, alternative renewable energy sources, and advanced battery technology.
Several relevant amendments to the bill were introduced, most relating to the U.S.-Israeli energy program:
H. Amdt. 600, submitted on 7/11/11 by Andy Harris (R-MD), no cosponsors
Reduces funding for the Dept. of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) international programs by $6 m. This amendment was intended to defund all EERE programs carried out abroad except for the energy cooperation program conducted with Israel. However, the wording of the amendment only reduces funding for all programs and allows the Dept. of Energy to spend the remaining $2 m. (the amount intended for the program with Israel) at its discretion. To ensure the funds were devoted to the program with Israel, Harris introduced H. Amdt. 675 below. This amendment passed in the House by voice vote on 7/11/11.
H. Amdt. 675, submitted 7/14/11 by Andy Harris (R-MD), no cosponsors.
Prohibits any funding for the EERE’s international programs for energy efficiency and renewable energy, except for the program conducted with Israel. The amendment passed in the House 236-185 on 7/15/11.
S. Amdt. 949, submitted on 11/14/11 by Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN), no cosponsors.
Would prohibit funds from this bill being spent in contravention of two laws passed in 1990 and 1994 that prohibit U.S. funding for any UN agency which upgrades the status of the PLO observer mission at the UN. This amendment was not considered by the Senate.
S. Amdt. 1053, submitted on 11/16/11 by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), 1 cosponsor
Would require the Secy. of Energy to provide $2 m. for the energy cooperation program. In 10/11 Landrieu led a delegation of executives of Louisiana and Texas based energy companies to Israel seeking opportunities to participate in developing Israel’s offshore natural gas reserves. Her first trip in 15 years, Landrieu and the delegation met with Israeli National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau and executives of Nobel Energy, a Texas company that is currently partnered in three Israeli offshore gas fields. The companies represented by Landrieu’s delegation primarily service gas exploration companies like Nobel. Landrieu sits on both the Senate Appropriations and the Energy and Natural Resources committees.
Funding for energy cooperation program with Israel: H.R. 2055 of 5/31/11
Cutting assistance to the UN over statehood: H. Res. 297 of 6/3/11, H.R. 2261 of 6/21/11, H.R. 2457 of 7/7/11, H.R. 2829 of 8/30/11, S. 1595 of 9/21/11, S. 1848 of 11/10/11, and S. 1860 of 11/14/11 on cutting assistance to UN over statehood.