New gov't commits to secure energy future

Task force on developing energy sources in seas to be created; responsibilities to include ensuring supply of natural gas.

Site of planned natural gas plant in Be'er Tuviyah 370 (photo credit: Sharon Udasin)
Site of planned natural gas plant in Be'er Tuviyah 370
(photo credit: Sharon Udasin)
The new government has committed to working toward infrastructural redundancy, a secure energy future and increased sewage treatment capabilities, according to the coalition agreement between Yesh Atid and Likud Beytenu.
Integral to the energy agreement made between the parties is an obligation to reduce dependence on external, foreign sources of energy, as well as to contribute significantly to economic growth, the environment and public welfare, the parties announced on Saturday.
To promote efficiency and speed up the government’s policy on these issues, Yesh Atid and Likud Beytenu agreed to create a task force on developing energy sources in the open seas, the coalition agreement said. The responsibilities of this task force will include ensuring a supply of natural gas, securing resources and creating infrastructural redundancy. Arranging the supervision and regulation of search operations, production and transportation of natural gas in the open sea will also fall under the authority of the task force, as will supervising and regulating the export of the gas.
As far as the water sector goes, the Yesh Atid-Likud Beytenu agreement stressed the importance of including the development of residential sewage infrastructure as part of new national housing programs – calling for an elimination of barriers to construction, expansion and upgrading of sewage treatment plants.
Authority over implementing new sewage infrastructure development will fall in the hands of the Water Authority, combined with those of the existing local authorities and regional councils, the agreement said.
Thus far, the Sewage Administration in the Water Authority has expressed frustration that local authorities have not cooperated to the full extent necessary in sewage treatment projects, according to the coalition agreement. Therefore, the parties have agreed that if such a situation occurs, the Sewage Administration will be able to turn to the Finance Ministry and the Interior Ministry’s supervisor of regions to collect the funds required from the local authorities.
Adhering to recommendations of the state comptroller, the government will also be committing to reducing the number of local water corporations – a decision that all of the members of the coalition support. All of the parties involved have likewise agreed to support Knesset legislative proposals regarding the natural gas and energy sectors.
In its specific coalition agreement with Likud Beytenu, Bayit Yehudi likewise committed to supporting the prime minister’s efforts to bring forth reforms on energy regulations.