Landau: Natural gas for cars can free us from oil

Energy and water minister says Israeli natural gas discoveries open window to fight "addiction to black gold."

May 22, 2012 01:33
2 minute read.
Tamar holds 240 billion cu.m. of gas.

Tamar. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Rather than continuing to heavily pollute the air and fund Arab governments by using fuel oil, more Israelis will soon be able to turn to natural gas to power their automobiles, the Energy and Water Ministry said on Monday.

“Citizens of the Western world, and we among them, suffer from an addiction to black gold, which pollutes the environments, and some of whose revenues stimulate Islamic terrorism,” Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau said. “Israel gas discoveries open for us a window to fight this addiction.”

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While compressed natural gas is already available for certain cars in Israel, the ministry recently initiated an Israeli standard on propelling vehicles with the substance, which would enable its use on a more regulated, widespread level, the ministry said.

Simultaneously, the ministry is working on the publication of a second Israeli standard to deal with refueling stations that distribute natural gas. The ministry expressed confidence that the two standards would soon become official.

Standards are documents stating technical specifications for products to ensure that they are suited for their intended purpose, according to the Standards Institute.

After being approved by the Standards Institute, a standard is voluntary, until the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry determines that all or part of it is binding, usually on the basis of elements such as public health, safety and environmental quality. Then it becomes an official standard.

From a strategic perspective – in which Israel seeks to diversify its breadth of energy resources, reduce its dependence on crude oil and reap the benefits of its recent natural gas discoveries – using natural gas to power cars will be extremely beneficial, according to the ministry.

In establishing these new standards, Israel will become one of only a few countries with two complementary standards on ensuring the quality and safety of compressed natural gas – one for handling the product, the gas, and the second for fueling stations, the ministry said.

Because building gas stations requires comprehensive planning and licensing procedures, once the standards are complete, renovations will be made on existing natural gas refueling stations under the framework of National Master Plan 18, the ministry explained. This way, the standards will enable both the establishment of new stations as well as their integration with existing gas fueling stations.

“The State of Israel, with and without connection to the Western world, must achieve for itself independence in everything that is related to fuel that powers a vehicle. We are committed to doing our part in this struggle, because it is in our soul,” Landau said.

“Oil is a powerful weapon. And liberation from it is a demanding struggle. This war for independence can triumph without firing a single bullet.”

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