FACT SHEET: American Innovation Can Bolster Israeli Energy Security

September 15, 2023

Today is the third anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords, which ushered in a new chapter of peace in the Middle East. On this historic day, the United States should recommit to strengthening our partnerships with countries in the Middle East that are actively seeking regional peace, prosperity, and security.

The security and prosperity of America’s closest ally in the region, Israel, has benefitted from the country’s booming natural gas industry. This boom has broken the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and made the Jewish state a regional gas exporter. Supporting Israel’s development of its natural resources—while forging closer business ties with American innovators—would strengthen Israel’s national security and the U.S.-Israeli alliance.

Israel’s Natural Gas Revolution

  • In 1999, Israel discovered its first commercially viable natural gas resources.
  • Since then, production has skyrocketed.
    • In just the past decade, production has increased by more than 450%.
    • In 2022, almost half of Israel’s natural gas was exported to Jordan and Egypt.
    • Israel’s natural gas production could now meet the annual demand of Alabama or New Jersey.

Israel’s Booming Natural Gas Industry[1]

American Cooperation has Strengthened our Closest Ally in the Middle East

  • Concurrent with Israel’s natural gas boom, the U.S. has partnered with Israel for decades to advance energy research and development.
  • In 2018, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz formally established the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy, Engineering, and Water Technology.
    • The Center brings together universities and companies from both countries to collaborate on research and development projects and facilitate academic exchanges.

The Biden Administration’s Green Myopia Hampers our Allies’ Energy Security

  • In January 2020, the leaders of Israel, Cyprus, and Greece signed an agreement to build a $6 billion natural gas pipeline.
    • The EastMed pipeline would transport Israeli and Cypriot gas to Europe.
  • The U.S. had previously endorsed the pipeline’s development in 2019.
  • But, in January 2022, President Biden withdrew U.S. support in preference of “promoting clean energy technologies” in the region.
    • This decision has dampened the prospect of the pipeline securing international financing, leaving the project—and Israel’s opportunity to expand its natural gas industry—in limbo.

Solution: The U.S. Must Reengage with Israel to Support its Energy Ambitions

Israel is a key ally of the U.S., and its energy resources provide a unique opportunity to strengthen its economic and national security. The U.S. should look for opportunities for American businesses and research institutions to collaborate with their Israeli counterparts.

On this third anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords, the United States should recommit to working with countries in the Middle East that are actively seeking regional peace, prosperity, and security.