Washington, D.C. – After years of leadership by Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) the Appropriations Committee committed $4 million dollars to establish a Joint U.S. Israel Energy Center.
This partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy and Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure encourages energy cooperation between the two countries, including Energy Cybersecurity, Energy-Water nexus matters, and renewables, and originates from the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014.
Since the passage of the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, Senator Cantwell has led a bipartisan group of senators in pushing the Department of Energy to move forward with the center’s launch. In a 2015 letter, Senator Cantwell asked the Department of Energy to implement a provision from the United States Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, to establish the joint center that will help deepen energy development collaboration.
In a 2016 letter to the Department of Energy Senators Cantwell and Murkowski emphasized the importance of the bilateral energy center, “Collaborative research programs, technology transfer, and industry partnerships would connect two of the world’s most innovative countries – building bridges and helping to move important new technologies to market.”
After the Department of Energy committed to establishing the joint United States and Israel energy center in September 2016 Senator Cantwell stated, “This act [the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014] builds on the Department of Energy’s existing collaborations with our critical ally. 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.”
Following the announcement that the center would receive funding Sen. Cantwell said, “I am looking forward to this partnership between world class American and Israeli universities conducting joint research and development on the energy challenges facing both nations. I plan to work with the Department of Energy to ensure that this promising program is accessible to all interested and qualified universities in the United States—including those in my home state of Washington."