Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
It is deeply disappointing that, even after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and record high energy prices in the U.S. and Europe, the Biden administration is still failing to reverse the damage that the Biden administration has inflicted on the U.S.’s and our allies’ energy independence. Energy independence is absolutely vital to national security. The ZOA strongly urges President Biden to reinstate U.S. support for U.S.-Canadian pipelines (e.g., the Keystone XL pipeline) and for a planned Israeli-Cypriot-Greek-European Eastern Mediterranean (“EastMed”) natural gas pipeline.
The EastMed natural gas pipeline would transport natural gas to Europe from Israel’s and Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone waters (EEZ), including Israel’s Leviathan gas field. The pipeline could provide 10% of Europe’s natural gas needs.
The EastMed natural gas pipeline received U.S. support from the Trump administration from the outset. In addition, the European Union supported and designated the EastMed pipeline project as a “Project of Common Interest” (PCI). The Cypriot, Greek, and Italian governments initially approved the project in 2015. In 2017, the Ministers for Energy of Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Israel signed a joint venture declaration furthering the project. Following a subsequent preliminary feasibility study financed by the EU, the EastMed Pipeline Accord was signed in January 2020 at a Trilateral Summit attended by then-Israeli PM Netanyahu, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. Completion of the pipeline was planned for 2025.
But alarmingly, last month, the Biden administration informed Israel, Greece, and Cyprus that the U.S. no longer supports the EastMed natural gas pipeline. This is a severe blow to our allies’ energy independence, and increases our allies’ dependence on Russian, OPEC, and Iranian oil.
ZOA urges President Biden to reverse course, and to restore support for America’s and our allies’ energy independence.
ZOA further urges Israel’s leaders to take steps to proceed with the EastMed Pipeline, regardless of the current U.S. administration’s opposition.