(photo credit: Courtesy of Albatross)
The High Court of Justice rejected on Monday morning a petition from
environmental activism group Adam Teva V’Din-Israel Union for Environmental
Defense that had deemed the government’s new oil and gas drilling standards
After the Energy and Water Ministry initiated a new legal
framework of environmental standards for exploratory oil and gas drilling, Adam
Teva V’Din had filed a petition arguing that these regulations allowed for
shortcuts that could bypass certain planning and building procedures.
High Court decided it would not intervene in these regulations, and ruled that
the standards would be deployed in accordance with the government’s official
position, the ministry said.
In response to the decision, the Energy and
Water Ministry stressed that it would continue to regulate the planning process
for gas and oil explorations, with the goal of strengthening the industry and
promoting sustainability according to the highest standards in the
While Adam Teva V’Din representatives acknowledged that the court
did reject the organization’s petition, they said they were pleased to hear the
court emphasize certain environmental guidelines to which the state must
continue to adhere. All oil and gas exploration will be subject to the
instructions of the attorney-general, and there will be no automatic passage
from the exploratory stage to the commercial stage in drilling, according to
Adam Teva V’Din.
Meanwhile, the court stressed that there should always
be an environmental representative in the planning committee, and the period for
reviewing environmental issues surrounding the drilling projects should be long
and thorough, the organization said.
In response to the court ruling
against their petition, Adam Teva V’Din executive director Amit Bracha said that
“now the struggle against the dangerous consequences of gas and oil drilling,
and oil shale in particular, passes on to the planning committee.”
are at the beginning of a new struggle that starts today and aims to prevent
possible harm to public health and irreversible damage to the environment,”