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Congress Extends Israel Alt-Energy Deal

The U.S. Congress maintained funding for a cooperative agreement with Israel that develops energy alternatives.

The Omnibus Appropriations Bill passed over the weekend by both houses keeps in place the $2 million contributed by the United States to the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperative Agreement.

Under the agreement, Israel also contributes $2 million, and private investors contribute as well.

Funds allocated from 2009 to 2011 have been used by U.S. and Israeli firms to advance areas such as energy grid management, and biodiesel and solar energy.

In November, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore,) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) wrote appropriators to express concern that the funding might fall victim to budget cuts.

“We believe that this is an investment worth maintaining – for the sake of U.S. jobs, our important bilateral relationship with our ally Israel, and the energy innovation this relationship produces,” they said at the time.

The bill now goes to President Obama for signing.

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