Senator Mary Landrieu 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Not only will Mediterranean natural gas discoveries be a “game-changer” for
Israel, the resource creates attractive partnership opportunities for
entrepreneurs from the Gulf of Mexico region, Sen. Mary Landrieu told Israeli
industry experts on Sunday.
Landrieu, a democrat from Louisiana, was
speaking at the 2012 Israel Energy and Business Convention in Ramat Gan’s Kfar
Hamaccabiah, where she was also leading a US Commerce Department oil and gas
trade commission trip representing about 20 companies in the Gulf region. Last
year, Landrieu piloted the US’s first-ever oil and gas trade commission to
Israel under the auspices of the Louisiana Trade Mission.
“This is my
second trip to Israel in less than a year on this very topic – oil and gas
exploration,” Landrieu said. “This is a game-changer for this nation to secure
itself in a much more comprehensive way with the energy resources that it will
need in the very difficult neighborhood that it finds itself.”
her trip to Israel with the Louisiana Trade Commission last year, Landrieu then
hosted a high-level delegation of Israeli officials in Washington, DC and in
Louisiana in June to meet with federal officials and industry experts in the
“The collaboration that we’re hoping for is between the governments,”
Landrieu said. “The US is becoming more and more energy self-sufficient.
We are importing our lowest amount of oil in decades.”
After the November
election, whether former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney or incumbent
President Barack Obama ends up assuming the presidency, the US will be pushing
strongly forward toward renewable energy development, according to
“My goal is to strengthen ties between universities in Israel
and universities along the Gulf Coast,” Landrieu said, stressing the importance
of advancing technology and protecting the environment at the same
Also important to both sides, according to the senator, is direct
contact between the companies that may potentially work
“There’s nothing like company- to-company exchange,” she said.
“The government has a role but so does the private sector.”
discussions – sometimes heated – that took place at the convention on Sunday –
on topics such as whether to export natural gas and what exactly to do with the
new resource – “sounded a lot like the Louisiana legislature” in the past,
Landrieu said, laughing.
“Israel has finally found something that is a
gamechanger for them, not only economically but politically and security-wise,”
“Louisiana and the Gulf States are here to help you.”