More Straight Talk Needed on Offshore Energy
Israel’s formidable offshore gas discoveries should be mobilizing the country’s best and brightest to find optimal ways to develop this new bounty. Instead, energy policy is polarizing politics and society, fueling conspiracy theories and leaving the public suspicious and bemused. Companies which have invested billions of dollars in exploration and production are wondering whether political, regulatory and commercial conditions will permit them to bring the large Leviathan gas field on stream.
To be sure, discussion, debate, and irreverent journalism make Israel a thriving democracy. Opposition parties are there to question and indeed to oppose, when they deem this in the public interest. But the current national conversation about fairness and competition in the energy business is being conducted in a fog of half knowledge and distrust. Changes in the regulatory regime have not been explained clearly to the Knesset, the press and public opinion, fostering distrust.
Photo credit: Ed Schipul