Green group to appeal Ashkelon's 2nd coal-burning plant

"Israel's energy policy resembles that of the Third World. Instead of building new coal-burning power plants, we should be investing in alternative energy."

power plant 88 (photo credit:)
power plant 88
(photo credit: )
The Israel Union for Environmental Defense (IUED) plans to appeal to the Supreme Court over an Interior Ministry decision Monday to authorize a second coal-burning power plant in Ashkelon. The plant was approved by the ministry's national infrastructures committee. IUED appealed to the court in 2005 to ask them to compel the committee to take into account the organization's environmental concerns. The court ordered the committee to do so, but IUED felt the committee had not done so in proper fashion and said it would be returning to the court with its complaints. The Society for the Protection of Nature (SPNI) and Green Course both promised to rouse public opposition to the plant after the committee voted 9:2 in favor of the plan. Representatives on the committee of environmental organizations and the Environmental Protection Ministry voted against it. Outside the committee hearing, many gathered to protest. Coal burning plants have traditionally been huge contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and to such phenomena as acid rain. Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee Chair Ophir Paz-Pines (Labor) slammed the decision and promised that his committee would discuss the issue next week. "Building a coal-burning power plant in Ashkelon is an endless tragedy. We will hold an urgent discussion in committee about this issue next week. "Israel's energy policy resembles that of the Third World. Instead of building new coal-burning power plants, we should be investing in alternative energy. The trend in developed countries is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is only in Israel that we are moving backward," he said. National Infrastructures Ministry Dir.-Gen. Hezi Kugler praised the committee members for their decision. "There is great significance in the national responsibility evinced by the committee members, who recognized the importance and unavoidable necessity of the plant to the functioning of Israel's energy economy," he told the committee members Monday.