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Ministry of Environmental Protection: not to approve the oil shale experiment

In the opinion of the ministry it was determined that the project could lead to serious infections in the area • There is no production of oil using this method anywhere in the world and there is a lack of much information that is necessary for the approval of the project

A demonstration by environmental activists against the decision to grant the pilot to IEI to mine oil shale in the Halla Valley. Photo: Green Trend
A demonstration by environmental activists against the decision to grant the pilot to IEI to mine oil shale in the Halla Valley. Photo: Green Trend

The Ministry of Environmental Protection informed the Planning and Construction Committee that after examining the environmental documents submitted by the project promoters for the production of oil from oil shale, the project should not be carried out. In the coming week, the Jerusalem District Committee for Planning and Construction will meet in order to approve the trial drilling for the production of oil from oil shale in the Judean Lowlands and in particular in the Adolim region. The ministry's position states that after examining all the information, the test drilling should not be approved either.


The office's opinion states that the project may irreversibly endanger the environment and justified its decision with the following reasons:

  • Even after examining the environmental document submitted by the developer, in which the project's impact on the environment is described, there is a lack of essential information that would allow an informed approval of the project on a broad professional basis.
  • Already from the information available today it appears that the project may seriously damage the groundwater, the soil and the wider environment already in the trial phase and certainly in the commercial production phase.
  • There is no production of oil in the requested method anywhere in the world. Experience in the world is extremely limited and even the few experimental facilities that exist abroad have not been able to promote the issue.
  • The promotion of oil production from oil shale contradicts the government's policy to promote oil substitutes for transportation and to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The area where the project is planned is a unique and very important area both ecologically, scenically and historically. In addition, this area is of high importance in terms of biological diversity, heritage and open areas for recreation and tourism.

The Minister of Environmental Protection, MK Amir Peretz: "We cannot agree to a process that we all know the final results of which are extremely difficult, both for the environment and for the people living in it and certainly the destruction of one of the most beautiful and significant places in Israel for the State of Israel"

The heads of the regional councils where the area of ​​the license granted to the entrepreneurial company is located together with a broad coalition of environmental organizations in Israel: KKL-Junk, the Society for the Protection of Nature, Adam Teva and Din, Greenpeace, Life and Environment, Green Trend, the Good Energy Initiative and the Nature and Parks Authority share in the opposition.

All together joined the fight with the understanding that the "pilot", or IEI's experiment, is paving a direct way to commercial production, within the framework of which and subject to the archaic oil law, the company will receive a full concession on the area, for decades.

Nicole Bacher, an activist with a green trend: "We oppose the production of oil in unproven ways that could harm public health in our drinking water and agriculture, whether it is the Judean Lowlands, the Golan Heights or anywhere else in Israel. Projects of this type take away Israel's right to base its energy economy on clean and renewable sources."

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19 תגובות

  1. The shale treasure is truly unique. equivalent to Saudi oil. There will be money to solve all the environmental problems along the way. All the apparent concerns about the environment may have their origin in narrow local inertias, or in the struggle of competitors for the country's huge oil import funds. It's a shame that a politician chooses a side against the clear interest of the majority of citizens and the country as a whole.

  2. to the skeptic

    If the world wants to, it has many more ways to subdue Israel without
    One shot, including an embargo on grains and raw materials for industry not to mention
    on weapons and banning flights (you think the citizens of Israel will stand by this...).
    As strange as it sounds, it is possible that fuel is easier to bring
    from more friendly countries (Iraqi Kurdistan for example..).

    That's why I stand by my opinion that until a proven clean way is found
    To produce fuel from oil shale we gamble for nothing on the landscape and quality
    Life in the country.

  3. At the moment, if the world wants to, it can bring about the surrender of Israel only by an oil embargo, without firing a single shot. And this force should be prevented.

  4. to the skeptic

    You need a lot of electricity to heat and cool houses and the solar panels are from this point of view
    They help for cooling in the summer and the wind turbines for heating in the winter precisely because it is
    In extreme cases, this is not how power plants should be built - if you were to build them only
    To cover the peaks of demand - you would pay much more - and viability
    The establishment was for the entire life of the station a slouch compared to a "green" vessel.
    It is a fact that wind turbines continue to be placed all over the western world
    and install solar panels despite the "economic unviability" you declare.

  5. In Israel, we reached an economic balance in installing solar panels, but the Electricity Authority wants to take care of the electricity company, so they don't publish it. And in addition, air conditioners are turned on during the day (and even more so because of the warming), isn't it a shame to add burning coal to that as well?

  6. For anyone who offers alternatives to wind energy and solar energy.

    Wind energy has no practical value, according to the accumulated experience.

    Solar energy costs twice as much as energy from fossil fuels. The price is not due to a lack of investment in development, but rather a cost that is rooted in the method, therefore there are no serious studies on lowering the price. Another problem that prevents the widespread use of solar energy is that this energy is only generated during strong daylight hours and cannot be stored.

  7. Very Good. Oil is a dirty business, there are many substitutes for it such as solar and wind that crave allocations.

  8. to Nostradamus

    If Israel wants energy independence it will invest in development
    The gas reservoirs and the industries around them and renewable sources like
    Several countries not far from their shores "plant" turbines
    Wind for example.

    Oil shale mining by any method will turn Israel into a dump
    Regardless of left and right.

  9. Those who connect the right-left debate and the environmental field are the American conservatives who have only one criterion - which is good for those who have lobbyists. This is the essence of libertarianism on one foot, and therefore you find there a strange coalition between opponents of abortion and evolution, opponents of global warming, the gun lobby and more.

  10. Nostradamus
    I am right-wing and I support the greens. Not all of the left is in favor of the destruction of Israel, although some are...

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