Energy Minister mulls cutting gas export quota

Swayed by social protests, Silvan Shalom is considering lowering the natural gas export quota from 53% to 40%.

Minister Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom may lower the natural gas export quota from 53% to 40%. The main change is to further restrict Israeli energy exports. The Tzemach Committee on gas exports recommends an export quota of 53%, subject to certain conditions.

Shalom's likely decision is in response to social protests. Last weekend, hundreds of demonstrators opposing gas exports protested the outside home of Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) controlling shareholder Yitzhak Tshuva.

"We came here to shout outside Tshuva's home that it is unacceptable for him to make so much money at the expense of the people," said Yigal Rambam, a leader of the social protest in 2011, who led the demonstration. "He pays lobbyists tens of thousands of shekels to ensure that he will profit as much as possible and leave as little as possible for Israel's people."

Green Course leader Michal Shukrun said, "Although Tshuva isn't the only address, we're talking about hundreds of millions of shekels taken from the public's resources directly into private hands, without first assuring that Israel's people will have enough gas, not for the next 25 years, but for the next 50 years.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 23, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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