Gas rig

Israeli Palestinian Peace Through Energy Interdependence

EcoBeat Staff – We need a new approach to peace between Israel and Palestine. For years, the international community has failed to provide a new solution to this decades-old crisis. These treaties typically focus on a two-state solution and to some extent involve a freeze on new Israeli settlements in the West Bank. This has failed time and time again, yet no alternative solution has been offered. I believe that the world has overlooked one of its greatest opportunities to stop the violence: energy interdependence.

Now, anyone familiar with Israel’s energy markets realize that the country currently relies on Egypt’s Arish-Asheklon pipeline for much of its energy supply. Recent natural gas discoveries off the coast of Israel represent a significant opportunity for the nation to become a net energy exporter in the coming decade. The Mari-B fields were discovered in 2000, followed by the start of production in the Tamar fields in late 2013. Perhaps the greatest reserve yet to be tapped is the Leviathan gas field, located 80 miles off the coast and originally estimated to contain 19 Tcf of recoverable natural gas. Just this past week, the Leviathan partners announced that they had underestimated the size of the reserve by a full 16%.

The Noa reserve is another natural gas field located almost equidistant from Israel and Gaza, leading Hamas to claim Palestinians have a right to a portion of the reserves because it lands within their exclusive economic zone. A similar issue exists surrounding the Gaza Marine gas reserves. Negotiations between Israel, the PA and Hamas have failed on a number of occasions to create a solution to this issue. In the end, Israel essentially wants control of the natural gas flow and Hamas sees that as a blatant attempt to steal natural resources from within its borders.

So you are probably asking: What does this have to do with Israeli Palestinian peace?

Regardless of how you slice up these fields, Israel will face significant security threats from Hamas in transporting the natural gas to potential markets. Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have little to no means of creating any economic output under the current system. This plays in to their feeling of helplessness, trapped on a fraction of their land with no way of bettering their economic opportunities.

Step back and imagine for a second what might happen if Israel and Palestine took a new approach on a joint venture to exploit these reserves?

This new solution might look something like this:

Israel receives the majority of the natural gas from the Gaza Marine and Noa fields for the first 3-5 years while it trains Palestinians to work on the gas rigs. As the years go on, Israel will have increased production on larger reserves (Tamar, Leviathan) within its exclusive economic zone, making these two fields less important to its energy security. Therefore, the proportion of natural gas that Israel receives from these fields would decrease annually, while the Palestinian share of natural gas would increase annually. This would create an environment in which both sides benefit from safe and secure transportation of natural gas throughout the region while simultaneously building trust. Any damage to the gas rigs would be destructive to the energy security of both states.

If Hamas were to attack Israel after signing this agreement, the Palestinian people would lose out on a major economic opportunity, leading to a potential fallout of support for the extremist organization. Just the same, if Israel were to attack Palestine, it would face significant challenges transporting the gas. One could even imagine a scenario in which the UN steps in with sanctions on whichever side is responsible for breaking the agreement, further incentivizing interdependence in these gas fields.

While this plan is not without flaws, it seems time that the international community began to think outside of the box on ways to end the violence between Israel and Palestine. Proposing the same two-state “solution” time and time again is a waste when neither side trusts the other enough to exist as neighbors. Yet, if the energy markets, and therefore economies, of these two states were to be interdependent in some way, one can begin to imagine an over-arching solution coming to fruition.

Read More
Pope Francis

Climate Pope: Hero or Hypocrite?

July 7, 2015 • Climate, Featured, Fossil Fuels, International Action, Original Content • Views: 2113

EcoBeat Staff – Pope Francis recently caused waves around the globe with the release of Laudato Si, his 200-page encyclical on climate change. In it, the Pope states that climate change is primarily caused by humans and that it is a sin to destroy the natural world for our benefit, at the

Tomari Nuclear Power Plant

Japan After Fukushima

July 2, 2015 • Alternative Energy, Energy, Original Content, Recent • Views: 1456

EcoBeat Staff – Japan has been facing an energy crisis ever since the earthquake and resulting tsunami in 2011 that critically damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactors. At the time, the country relied on nuclear energy for nearly 30% of its needs, with plans to increase that

India’s 100GW Solar Energy Commitment: Does it Matter?

June 28, 2015 • Energy, Featured, International Action, Original Content, Recent, Renewable Energy • Views: 1556

EcoBeat Staff – With Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to quintuple India’s original solar energy generation commitments from 20 GW (enough to power 4 million homes) to 100 GW by 2022 and a $20 billion investment to cover a fifth of that plan from the Japanese SoftBank Corporation, the

Fracking Banned in NY State

N.Y. Fracking Report Gains Environmentalists Praise, Business Interests Scorn

June 24, 2015 • Energy, Fossil Fuels, Recent, Reposted Articles • Views: 1543

By David Bertola Buffalo Business First For the full story, click HERE May 14 2015 – “To the dismay of those in the business community and in the oil and gas industry — but to the delight of environmentalists — a state agency released a report Wednesday saying that a seemingly infinite


EWICON: The Silent, Harmless Wind “Turbine”

June 24, 2015 • Energy, Original Content, Recent, Renewable Energy • Views: 1566

EcoBeat Staff – One of the key arguments against wind turbines, aside from the fact that some consider them an eyesore, is that they kill birds. Studies, such as one by two federal scientists and Wallace Erickson of environmental consulting firm West Inc., have found that 214,000-368,000

Floating Wind Turbines

How Hawaii Could Finally Make Floating Wind Farms A Reality

June 21, 2015 • Energy, Recent, Renewable Energy, Reposted Articles • Views: 1495

By James Cave The Huffington Post For the full story, click HERE June 19 2015 – During the Hawaii Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting earlier this month, government and industry agencies discussed two proposals to build more than 100 turbines off the island of Oahu. The U.S.

Fracking Water on Fire

Widespread and Systemic Contamination Found — at the EPA

June 21, 2015 • Energy, Fossil Fuels, Recent, Reposted Articles, Water • Views: 1323

By Weston W. Wilson The Hill For the full story, click HERE. June 15 2015 – The oil and gas industry has claimed repeatedly that fracking is safe, alleging there’s never been a single case of groundwater contamination from fracking. People who live near fracking wells report a very

City Hall Cape Town

How Do You Bring Electricity to 620 Million People?

June 21, 2015 • Climate, Energy, International Action, Recent, Renewable Energy, Reposted Articles • Views: 1610

Tom Jackson Ensia Sub-Saharan Africa needs a more reliable energy supply. The way it chooses to meet that need will affect the entire planet. June 15, 2015 — In South Africa, major cities are subject to regular power outages as electric utility Eskom periodically shuts down parts of its

Fracking in Oklahoma

Study: 5-10 Fold Increase in Oklahoma Earthquakes Caused by Fracking

June 20, 2015 • Energy, Fossil Fuels, Original Content, Recent • Views: 1252

EcoBeat Staff – Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has been praised by many economists and energy experts in the United States as the key to an energy-secure future. While many scientists have been concerned with the implications of injecting large amounts of brackish water, (saltwater that