Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay has spoken out against a natural gas deal to develop the massive Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea. The deal was approved by Israel’s government on Sunday, May 22, 2016. This, two months after a previous deal was struck down by Israel’s Supreme Court, which ruled that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t have the right to sign a legal clause to activate it.
Minister Gabbay voiced three main reasons why he opposes the deal:
- In the nine months since the plan was originally approved, it has been proven that the deal was a mistake.
- The natural gas prices that were set by the deal are too high, and will prevent consumers from using natural gas for energy. Air pollution would be significantly reduced if natural gas was used to generate energy in place of other fossil fuels.
- Consumers need stability. The deal removes price controls, and will allow sellers to raise natural gas prices and still receive compensation from the government for regulatory changes.