DOE to Establish Joint U.S.-Israel Energy Center in 2017

Cantwell Repeatedly Asked DOE to Establish the Center by Implementing a Provision of the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014

September 9, 2016

Washington, D.C.– Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), ranking member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, applauded the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for working to establish a joint United States and Israel energy center. The center will be established to advance important energy research and development.

At a joint subcommittee hearing of the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Science, Space and Technology, DOE Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Jonathan Elkind testified that DOE “is preparing to establish in fiscal year 2017 a virtual center that will facilitate joint research in energy and related areas.”

Last month, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz sent a letter to Sen. Cantwell, stating the department’s intent to create the energy center: “You and your colleagues have expressed a keen interest in the establishment of a joint U.S.-Israel Energy Center, and I share that goal. I have directed the Department to work with Israel with the aim to establish a structured joint research center in FY17.”

This act [U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014] builds on the Department of Energy’s existing collaborations with our critical ally,” Sen. Cantwell said. “Establishing a joint center for innovation in areas of mutual interest including clean energy, water efficiency and cybersecurity could not come at a better time, given the rapidly-changing global energy landscape.”

In the letter, Secretary Moniz noted that the structure of the center will depend on the outcome of bilateral discussions, could resemble similar partnerships, and could include private sector matching funds from each country.

In bipartisan letters with other senators, Sen. Cantwell asked DOE to implement a provision from the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014. The law passed unanimously in the Senate and became law in December 2014.  It enables DOE to establish a joint center that focuses on academic and industry research to advance energy innovation and strengthens the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Israel.  

Read the response from Sec. Moniz to Sen. Cantwell.
Read the 2016 press release calling on the DOE to establish the U.S.-Israel Energy Center.  
Read the 2015 press release requesting the establishment of a U.S.-Israel Energy Center.