Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz on Tuesday slammed the recommendations of the Zemach Committee which call for allocating up to 50 percent of the country’s natural gas reserves for export. The committee recommended maintaining 450 billion cubic meters of gas for domestic use, enough to last the country about 25 years.
“The decision on the duration of time in which Israel will benefit from its gas determines directly how much gas is kept for [domestic] consumption,” Peretz said. “The decision whether to maintain enough gas for 20 years or more is not an economic decision, but an ideological and public policy decision.”Noting that Israel’s reserves make up only 0.3 percent of those in the entire world, the minister stressed that the country must take care of its own needs first.
The amount allocated to Israeli citizens should therefore be 600 billion cu. m., not 450 billion cu. m. as has been suggested by the Zemach Committee, he said.