NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La. Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy Natural Resources, highlighted opportunities to build on and grow bilateral energy cooperation at the inaugural U.S.-Israel Energy Summit in New Orleans this morning. The two-day Summit brought 11 premier academic institutions from the United States and Israel together at Tulane University and featured discussions on how university energy research can lead to new breakthroughs to solve technical, business and social challenges in the energy industry.
“This summit is a big step forward in our work to enhance the energy partnership between Israel and the United States. Louisiana and Gulf Coast companies are in a unique position to use their unparalleled expertise in offshore oil and gas development to help one of the United States’ closest allies develop its newly discovered energy resources,” Sen. Landrieu said. “We are poised to help Israel secure its energy independence and security for years to come and to boost economic opportunities along America’s working coast.”
In addition to Tulane University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Louisiana State University, McNeese State University, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University, The Israel Institute, University of Haifa, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the University of Texas at Austin participated in the summit.
Sen. Landrieu has long been a leader in the effort to enhance U.S.-Israeli collaboration on energy development. In 2014, Landrieu introduced the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Enhancement Bill, to further the collaboration between the U.S. and Israel on energy development—including natural gas and alternative fuels—and seeks to bolster that relationship by encouraging cooperation in the academic, business, governmental and other sectors. The bill passed the Energy Committee in December 2013.
In June 2012, Sen. Landrieu helped arrange a visit by a high-ranking delegation of Israeli officials to Washington, D.C., and Louisiana. The delegation met with Sen. Landrieu as well as former Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. The delegation also attended the Central Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale in New Orleans and visited Port Fourchon and the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in Cameron Parish.
In October 2011, Sen. Landrieu organized the first ever oil and gas trade mission to Israel with the help of the Department of Commerce and the critical work of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. The mission was such a success that the Department of Commerce worked with Sen. Landrieu to organize a similar trip in October of 2012 to continue this work.