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Israel Aims To End Most Fossil Fuel Use By 2030

By 2030, Israel will end all diesel fuel, coal, and gasoline use, according to a new announcement by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz.

An energy conference in Tel Aviv this week saw the Middle Eastern nation make the climate-oriented announcement, promising greater investment in renewable and alternative fuels in the near and intermediate future.

"From 2030 onward, the state of Israel will create alternatives and will no longer allow the import of cars that run on gasoline and diesel fuel," Steinitz said. "I'm not going to give in to any pressure,” he added, referring to lobbying activities by fossil fuel interests in the nation.

Natural gas dominates the Israeli market, representing 70 percent of the market. Coal is the nation’s second-largest power source, but its old and is on the downswing. Five years ago, the carbon-heavy fossil fuel took over 50 percent market share.

"There is a historic opportunity to transform Israel into one of the first Western countries in which energy is produced with zero pollution and harm to the environment," he said.

Israel is still entering into agreements to supply natural gas to neighboring countries as its offshore production sector matures. Texas-based Noble Energy recently announced a new deal to supply Egypt with 2.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from Israel over the course of a decade in exchange for $15 billion.

Related: Investors Demand A Payday: Do Shale Companies Agree?

"I welcome the historic agreement that was announced on the export of Israeli gas to Egypt," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this month in a written statement. "This will put billions into the state treasury to benefit the education, health and social welfare of Israel's citizens."

Dallas-based Zion Oil & Gas is also involved in Israel’s quest for fossil fuel wealth. The company found “free-flowing” carbon from its drilling mud. Zion CEO Victor Carrillo clarified in a written statement that "we cannot comment on the commerciality or ability to successfully produce the well."

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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