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Apartheid Oil

Crude trapped in shale could transform Israel into energy powerhouse

by Macdonald Stainsby

Apartheid Oil

JERUSALEM-- Major offshore gas strikes in 2009 and 2010 may soon convert converted Israel into a gas exporting country with self-sufficient energy. But perhaps more important than the gas under the sea is the mock crude trapped in husk dry sands and rock hard shale, reserves which could push Israel into the upper echelons of recoverable oil on the planet. Israel has long had a weakness economically and militarily because of their reliance on others for energy supplies. 

What promises to be the most energy intensive form of oil recovery on the planet could reinforce Israel's military might, while presenting a new threat to scarce water resources and the climate.

New estimates show that there’s 250 billion barrels (bbl) of recoverable mock (or synthetic) crude oil, possibly even more, in locations throughout Israel. By way of comparison, Canada has just under 200 bbl of oil, including recoverable tar sands while Saudi Arabia is said to have 260 bbl. 

The announcement of these major oil finds comes on the heels of the discovery of the contested Leviathan offshore gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, estimated to hold between 16 and 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. 

The Leviathan field was discovered by Noble Energy of Texas in June 2010. The discovery is disputed by Lebanon, which has already brought a complaint to the United Nations alleging Israeli slant drilling off the Lebanese coast following the 2006 aerial war. Further complicating matters is the other major natural gas play in the region lies beneath the recognized maritime territory of the Gaza Strip. 

“Israel [will] never buy gas from Palestine” declared Ariel Sharon in 2001, after the Palestinian Authority signed 25 year development leases with European energy companies. In 2003 Palestinian control over their own gas was challenged in Israeli supreme court in a case that has yet to be resolved.

British Gas Group (BG Group) struck a development deal on the Gaza deposit, and was planning to pipe gas through Egypt when, in 2006, UK PM Tony Blair is said to have intervened to prevent sending the gas south. In May of 2007, Israeli PM Ehud Olmert issued a proposal approved by cabinet to buy the $4 billion worth of gas, with $1 billion in profits going to the Palestinian Authority (PA), undermining then newly-elected Hamas. 

With various military and security advisers calling a gas deal with the PA a security risk, it fell through. British Gas Group closed their office in Israel and announced on their website that they were “...evaluating options for commercialising the gas.” Perhaps on the advice of retired high ranking Israeli Defence Forces officials, British Gas Group ceded their field license, so as to no longer involve the Palestinian Authority.

“In November 2008, the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Infrastructures instructed Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to enter into negotiations with British Gas on the purchase of natural gas from the BG's offshore concession in Gaza,” read a release by Boycott Israel UK right before the launch of Cast Lead. [1]   

"It is possible that the prospect of a major natural gas transaction with the Palestinians has been a factor in the Israeli cabinet's refusal to launch a Defensive Shield II operation in Gaza,” wrote retired Israeli Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon, only months before the Operation Cast Lead bombing of the Gaza Strip. 

Together with the Levitathan deposits, the natural gas fields off of Gaza's shores represent reserves that could easily meet Israel's internal electrical energy needs and turn the Zionist state from net importer to an exporter of energy. But the importance of the gas deposits may pale in comparison to the more recent development of technology for recovering tar sands and shale oil. In fact, given the massive energy inputs required to extract oil from shale, the Leviathan and Gazan gas fields may become an integral part of supplying the energy for this massive heavy oil project.

Israel's massive oil shale deposits vary in form from petrified kerogen rock to bituminous formations that have the texture and appearance of the tar sands common to places like Alberta, Canada. 

Using a combination of technologies already in use in Canada's tar sands and newer conceptual technology developed in Colorado's vast oil shale deposits, in March of 2011 Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI) announced a project to transform shale into oil. It it proceeds, shale oil extraction in Israel project could permanently alter the political and atmospheric climate of the Middle East.

IEI is a subsidiary of the much larger Israeli Data Technologies (IDT), a corporation that already dominates Israel's economic landscape and is led by IDT Chairman Howard Jonas. Along for the ride on this venture are media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former US vice-president Dick Cheney, along with many other notables.

Approximately 15 per cent of the land mass of UN-defined Israel overlays oil shale deposits. In fact, Israel has already exported their know-how to the Alberta tar sands: Ormat, an Israeli firm, has set up shop with patented energy technology in Alberta under the name Opti. Opti teamed up with Nexen in Canada to launch an in house technique of burning the waste gunk produced through extraction in order to provide energy for the extraction operation itself. At the end of July 2011, Opti (and their interests in Alberta's tar sands) was sold to China National Offshore Oil Corp. 

Not unlike the seismic shift that kicked the long dormant Alberta tar sands into high gear following the war on Iraq and cumulative rise in oil prices that coincided with the Katrina disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the latest announcements out of Israel are staggering.

The oil shale proposal that is closest to approval is a short drive southwest of Jerusalem, a pastoral area of Kibbutzes and small villages that historians believe was the backdrop for the biblical battle between David and Goliath. The area doesn't feel anything like the oil boomtown of Fort McMurray, Alberta, or even anything close to much of the Middle East, but more like parts of western Canada's Okanagan Valley. 

In the sunny backyard of a house in a gated community, Lia Tarachansky of the Real News Network interviewed Chagit Tishler about the proposed oil shale project while myself and a Palestinian man from a Jerusalem neighbourhood listened and drank tea.

“It's the biggest license even given to a private company in Israel,” said Tishler, who works with the organization Save Adullam, which is made up of local residents who oppose the IEI pilot project.  The license was granted under the Oil Law, said Tishler, which is essentially a free entry law dating from 1952, which prioritzes oil and gas exploration over farms, parks or historical sites.

“The area could be ruined completely. This area is the last area in the centre of Israel that remains an open area and a green area and has a lot of archaeological sites that are important not only to Israelis but to the rest of the world,” she said, before listing historical sites in the vicinity. Known as the Elah Valley, the area was re-settled only a couple of years after the Nakba in 1948 by primarily North African Mizrahi Jews. To this day they and others use the valley for food crops and Israeli wine. 

IEI's planned operations in the Elah Valley include digging five kilometres of trenches through farms and vineyards to expose the shale rock, which would then be heated until the Kerogen and other organic materials held inside it are bled out of the rock, producing a basic crude substance. Much like tar sands bitumen, this substance will still need to go through an upgrading process before refining. 

If carried out as planned, IEI’s project would constitute one of the least energy efficient forms of oil production ever devised. Three to five Gigawatts of electricity would be used to produce a single barrel of shale-based oil, according to Save Adullam. Heating the shale, which takes place for months at a time, could release at least 15 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. No other extraction process in conventional oil or even tar sands involves a heating process this extensive, nor is any as carbon intensive. This carbon release takes place even before refining, let alone consumption. 

Regardless, for Israel, these reserves represent a local supply that cannot be blockaded. IEI states that the petroleum from this shale produces a light synthetic crude nearly perfect for converting to jet fuel. 

Thus far, groups like Save Adullam who wish to stop this project have failed to make alliances with other communities living with the threat of oil shale extraction. The focus of Save Adullam is to demand a repeal the 1952 oil law. Their allies are inside the Knesset and others within the Israeli state, including the Jewish National Fund (JNF).  

Though the first lands slated for large scale development projects have religious and biblical resonance, there are also mining projects that will spread across the traditional territory of Bedouin Palestinians in various parts of the Negev Desert. The majority of the surface oil shale, which is similar in composition to the Albertan tar sands, sits in the northern part of the desert. In addition, mining for oil shale, which is burned for electricity, has already taken place in the deep south of the desert, close to Eliat. 

The Mishor Rotem Basin is on the west bank of the Dead Sea, and an oil shale deposit straddles both sides of the border between the state of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In 2006 the JNF concluded that Israel was using 25 per cent more water than was sustainable (this includes the almost 90 per cent of the water diverted from Palestinians in the West Bank). 

In Zionist settlements and recognized Bedouin villages in the Negev, cancer rates are already considerably higher than in the rest of the Jewish state. Pollution from oil shale developments in any form would doubtless contribute to increase overall contamination. In addition, the bulk of the Negev desert is also a training ground and “free fire zone” for the air force and military -- already a massive environmentally destructive force at play.

Israel's laws make it nearly impossible for non-Jewish citizens of Israel to exact equal rights in almost any field, even within Israel. Bedouins are seeing these problems deepen-- primarily upon the orders of the JNF, and carried out by riot squads and the IDF-- with JNF-led “making the desert bloom” projects, attacking and bulldozing entire villages (some over 25 times in the last year) to facilitate “forest planting” and forced re-settlement into government planned townships. 

Bedouin communities traditionally linked with the land who wish to stop the intrusion of oil shale and its toxic consequences will likely need to think beyond strategies that simply try to undo laws written by the Zionist state, and they aren't likely to find allies in the JNF.

And in yet another parallel to Canada, the vast offshore gas deposits claimed by Israel-- mainly but not exclusively the Leviathan field-- could serve the same vital role for energy input of oil shale developments that natural gas plays in the Athabasca tar sands. Israel already has a water crisis, but it looks like it might see fit to exacerbate that problem in the push for energy independence.

[1] (as defined by the 1948-1967 green line borders)

This article is the first in a four part series examining unconventional oil deposits in the Middle East and North Africa.

 


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dawn (dawn paley)
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Journalist, co-founder VMC, ex-editor & board member with Media Co-op. Author, Drug War Capitalism.

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Comments

Zionists are struggling against the foreign oil companies

Thank you for writing up the struggle of the local Israeli residents against the foreign-owned oil company.  (See saveadullam.org/english)

Motivated by a Zionist love for the Jewish homeland -- indeed, the very heartland of the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah --  Israelis are working hard to keep Dick Cheney's  oil company from destroying the beloved land.

This is not the only such project in the Land of Israel. Similar oil-shale extraction projects are planned for Palestinian-Authority controlled parts of Samaria.

That project is just as much a  threat to the Land of Israel as the Adullam project. Unfortunately, there is probably nothing that can be done to stop the Palestinians from destroying that part of the land, but there is a good chance for citizen activism along with  the  Israeli legal system to  save the Adullam region.

Well, thank you as well...

for reading through the piece.

However, your response is highly inaccurate in a few places and outright offensive in others.

First off, knock off this nonsense about how it is Dick Cheney attacking little you and the Elah Valley. Cheney, it is true, is one of the investors and is on Genie's advisory board. He is far from the biggest proponent, however (as an upcoming piece will illustrate in some detail). The various leads of the project come from the most ardent Zionists out there, from Howard Jonas to Michael Steinhardt and Lord Jacob Rothschild, to name but only three. You are NOT protecting Zionism.

Secondly, your organization is asking for support and solidarity from people around the world yet openly collaborate with the JNF, the same JNF attacking and cleansing Bedouins-- Israeli citizens-- inside the territory of the Green Line and in the same areas that have already seen large open pit mining of oil shale to which at the time you apparently had no complaint. Your organization seems to believe that human rights are less important than biblical sites, and the hubris to which you must undertake to ask for help while condemning others for standing up for the rights of every human being, Jew and non-Jew alike-- is astounding.

Tischler, whom I quoted, would not talk with me based on my previous writings opposing Israeli oil shale and Canadian tar sands involvement-- because I also stood, in the same article, opposed to the attacks on Gaza and for the rights of Palestinians to repatriate all their refugees. She let me sit on the grass in her backyard patting her cat. She avoided even uttering a real word to the Palestinian who was with us. Based on your post, this is clearly typical of your organization.

Don't worry, even though such a narrow approach to the question of the IEI development will inevtiably fail-- the rest of the world who are working on the Boyccot, Divestment and Sanctions movement will soon understand that the defeat of Zionism and the protection of the climate itself means the need to stop Israeli attempts to become a regional power in terms of oil as well as militarily. And it will be done so that all peoples who have some sort of claim to the land-- you included, but not exclusively anymore-- can share in it in a healthy way.

No group that claims environmental justice can ally with the JNF anymore than Texans who want to stop fracking can work with racist anti-immigrant militias. The difference being that militias cannot order the US military to simply crush entire villages with tanks in the name of planting trees.

Finally, your use of terms "land of Israel" for what you also call "Samaria" betrays people in your organization openly support the racist settlers inside the West Bank. Wow, and you want solidarity to protect "your" orchards?

The PA will never be allowed by any of the parties currently in the Knesset to build the infrastructure needed for pipelines, refineries or the operations of oil shale themselves. It is clear you are one of those people who lives near Palestinians but never sees how they live. Cognitive dissonance will not save you, and it will not protect the land. 

As it stands today, the PA is forced to buy all of the gasoline and petroleum off the backs of other fuel trucks at various border crossings and checkpoints. There is no trade for oil and gas outside of Israel allowed, and it is sold to the Palestinians by Israelis exclusively. And you can guess what happens with fuel for Gaza. The fact you deliberately denigrate them as irresponsible when they do not even currently possess the power to make the grand mistake you are proposing shows how narrow your vision is and why your group will fail.

But BDS will not, and this will be a part of that movement soon. Why? Because a free land shared by all who live in it is needed, and stopping the Israeli state from becoming an oil superpower is about as important as it could possibly get.

Good day to you.

 

 

Facts aren't your strong side, eh?

 

"IEI is a subsidiary of the much larger Israeli Data Technologies (IDT), a corporation that already dominates Israel's economic landscape"

Really? Did you guys run even basic fact checking on this?

  • IEI is s subsidiary of Genie. A spin off of New Jersey based IDT (for International Discount Telecom.) 
  • IDT does't "dominate Israel's economic landscape" it's a US based company with a very small office in Jerusalem. The company is based in NY and traded on the NYSE.

 

You would have known this - if you bothered to read any of the company’s financials. You obviously didn't. 

Big FAIL. Next time bring some facts.

 

 

 

Nice try.

Genie became a spin off of IDT in the time between my submitting this article to the Media Co-op and the time it has now come to publishing. I.e. in the last two months. If you really want, we can dig up the date but I am certain you will see that and not respond.

so, rather than deal with the multi faceted complaints about the project, from using this oil to continue to squash Palestinian rights through to utterly destroying the climate that exists from Antarctica to the Arctic North, you choose to play mini fact checker and do so playing fast with the facts themselves.

So, before you bother with another response-- let me ask this simple yes or no question: Do Palestinians have equal rights to Israelis and does that include the impacts on the environment?

I do not eagerly await your response, because I predict it already: you will either ignore the direct question altogether, or you will attempt to change the subject while pretending to answer it.

This project will be death to any attempt to stop climate change while simultaneously facilitating ever more Israeli intransigence in the face of global demands that Palestinians be treated as equal human beings.

That's all I have to say to you.

Good day!

 

 

IDT -> Genie -> IEI

"Jacob Rothschild and Mr. Murdoch separately purchased equity positions equivalent to a cumulative 5.5% stake in Genie Oil and Gas Inc., which consists of IDT's interests in American Shale Oil, LLC (AMSO), and Israel Energy Initiatives, Ltd., (IEI), for a total of $11.0 million dollars." 

"Genie Energy Corporation is a division of IDT Corporation (www.idt.net), a consumer services company with operations primarily in the telecommunications and energy industries.IDT Corporation's Class B Common Stock and Common Stock trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols IDT and IDT.C, respectively."

 

Source: IDT Corporation (http://www.idt.net/about/press/story.aspx?id=41777

Oil shale development

This article shows a remarkable lack of knowledge of the processes involved in IEI's plan to produce oil from oil shale in situ.  The product is substantially better oil than the immediate extract of oil sand, and requires substantially less upgrading.  It is, as the author points out in his response to the commenter,  absurdly inflammatory to label IEI as Dick' Cheney's oil company when the technical team leading the effort consists of residents of Israel, including several native Israelis.

Unless it can be demonstrated that all environmental laws in Israel will be utterly ineffective and that the IEI team has no interest in environmental protection, it is arrogant to imply inherent destruction of the area underlain by the oil shale.  I know Yuval Bartov and Harold Vinegar, and I believe that they are dedicated to environmentally sound development. Assuming further contamination constitutes an article of faith, not a statement of observable fact.  The process does not use water to produce the oil, and will probably actually produce some of the water locked in the minerals of the oil shale. 

There are not any plan that I am aware of that will resume mining of oil shale for power production in Israel. 

The political issues I will leave aside.  The technical effort to extract oil from oil shale is complex, but careful, and has reasonable likelihood to add to Israel's resource base without destroying its environment.

Jeremy Boak

Center for Oil Shale Technology and Research

Colorado School of Mines

Golden CO

Viewpoints expressed are mine, and do not reflect positions of the Colorado School of Mines.

Thank you Jeremy...

The most important thing to establish off the bat is that this is led by Zionists of the highest sort, whether they are Israeli or not, so I thank you for that clarification.

However, it is absolutely absurd to point out that the technology is "better than tar sands in Canada" as you dryly put it with my approximation. Canadian tar sands-- even the worst of the in-situ developments-- do not take several months of being heated by coils in the ground.

The only point upon which I can possibly concede to you is that when the oil ("oil") is produced out of the ground it is easier from that point to convert it to a petroleum product-- such as jet fuel. Like Canadian bitumen, it makes a lousy car gasoline but makes a very good fuel for airplanes. However, at the point that the fuel actually emerges from the ground (and the multi kilometer trenches have done their work in this "in the ground technology") you have already expended ridiculous amounts of energy.

So, for you-- a challenge:

100 years ago, the amount of expended energy for oil recovery was approximately 100 barrels of equivalent to one for recovery. Now, with conventional oil, it averages about 30-40 barrels for one put it. Tar sands (including refining) are 5 for mining, and less for in-situ. What, if anything, have IEI and Genie calculated for the recovery rate of actual energy from this proposal?

Again, not anxiously awaiting a reply. But very anxious about climate change.

toda,

water from shale ? regulatory frameworks?

the reference to unlocking water contained in the shale interests me.

In the case of Shell International's Grosmont project extracting oil from shale by the same process, one-tenth of each barrel of extracted oil is water. The problem is that this water is highly toxic.

If this is seen as an advantage, what is the process by which the toxicity will be removed in order for the water to be useable? Shell have no process for that.

A comment re environmental laws, it is well recognised that companies meet environmental regulations only to the extent of their enforcement. Where there is a weak regulatory environment, profit is the bottom line.

I have no idea at this point myself how strong Israel's environmental laws are, but I will be certainly watching with interest.

The contradictions between the the headlong rush into irrevocable climate change within five years and the mad race to extract every last drop of oil from the anywhere in the planet are so glaring as to be hardly worth commenting on. Yet comment I must, if for no other reason than that I am the grandmother of soon-to-be-seven grandchildren.

On that note, carbon sequestering - a problematic process itself - cannot possibly ameliorate the enormous increase in carbon emissions that this and similar projects - the Grosmont project  and its neighboring carbonate formation being one - will create.

The potential consequences are so appalling as to be unthinkable.  The question that inevitably results from such discussions, in my experience, comes back to the enormous amounts of energy required to maintain 7 b illion plus people. 

If only we put equal resources into addressing the question of viable alternatives.

 

on Israel's enviro laws.

Not surprisingly, they get enforced in extremely spotty manners, such as not at all or in the service of destroying entire Bedouin villages in order to plant trees on the orders of the JNF. However, I'm no expert on Israeli environmental law other than as it pertains to fossil fuel extraction. In that case, the law is not lacking in existence, but in fact the opposite-- since only 4 years after the Nakba, one of the basic laws of Israel is that absolutely nothing (park, religious historical site, etc) can overrule extraction. The government is legally bound to not use such an argument. It's about as regressive a law as one could find.

More on oil shale

I pointed out that the product of in situ production of oil shale was not as complex and difficult to process as the heavy oil in tar sands. The oil sand is biodegraded oil with a lot of asphaltenes (hence "Tar"), whereas the kerogen in oil shale is material that has never been matured underground to generate oil.  The product of in situ oil shale production consists of about 30% naphtha (gasoline), 30% kerosene (jet fuel), and 30% diesel, with only 10% heavy residual products - very different from the heavy oil that must be blended with lighter crude to make syncrude. It has some issues that depend upon the particular formation produced.  Colorado oil shale product tends to be waxy and high in nitrogen, but not at all beyond existing technology. So to say it makes lousy car gasoline, but good fuel for airplanes mistakes the fundamentals of processing crude oil these days. All gasoline and jet fuel meet certain standards, and some crudes may be easier to make more of one type than another.

Adding the heat required to something nature has done elsewhere is not inherently bad. In situ production of tar sand oil also requires extensive heating of the formation to ensure that the oil will stay fluid enough to flow.  It just happens at lower temperatures. So I have no problem with long term heating at pyrolysis temperatures.  The rocks can take it. 

I have seen nothing in any plan by any company that involves multi-kilometer trenches.  The IEI technology, which is similar in some respects to Shell's technology (not surprising given that that is where Harold Vinegar used to work), will require a great deal of drilling, but not trenching. There will be surface impacts where the oil is being produced, but the high areal density of the oil shale resource means that the footprint will be smaller than that for similar levels of traditional or even unconventional oil production.

In general, energy return on investment for oil shale production is 3-10 barrels per barrel.  I am not certain of the source for your numbers, although the 100:1 is commonly mentioned without any technical reference.  I have heard much lower values for current conventional oil, and much oil today is produced from fields that were placed on waterflood from inception (with a concomitant reduction in energy return), as well as many others on tertiary flood, not to mention the energy return of massive deepwater offshore operations. There is no doubt that the return on investment of energy is declining. I would expect that Genie/IEI would estimate returns of 4-8.  But methodology for estimating this is not yet especially rigorous. 

I consider it essential that the world begin to address its carbon burden, but it is as important to develop capture and sequestration technology as to replace fossil fuels. I believe this simply because I think it will take a long time to supplant the traditional energy sources. It will happen, but not as fast as some people envision.  Nuclear power can provide one significant alternative, but I see it as challenged by its large upfront capital cost and continuing public anxiety.

Water and carbon production from extraction of oil

To my knowledge, Grosmont is a tar sand area, with heavy oil in both sand and underlying carbonate bedrock.  There is no shale.  

Kerogen breakdown reactions in oil shale begin to occur at temperatures well above those at which water will be released from pore space and minerals in the rock.  This water will be released largely as water vapor which, when condensed, will be relatively pure, unlike pore water that has been in contact with heavy oil for millions of years. Even when Shell circulated water through the depleted block of oil shale, they were able to remove the various organic contaminants using existing technology. 

All water can be cleaned, but not all water can be cleaned cheaply. Environmental compliance will affect economics, but it is achievable, and should not be used to argue experiments should never be conducted.

I recognize that we live in an imperfect world, where compliance enforcement is underfunded.  It is a great deal easier for politicians to preach about the need for regulation and the failure of government than to ensure that enforcement is adequately funded. But the decades long cost of environmental failure is understood by companies, and there is, in fact, a lot more conversation inside about the difficult balance of profit and compliance.  ExxonMobil was not always the most careful company in this regard, but they went through a major and lasting cultural change after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and I believe the record shows it.

We use oil, gas, and coal because they are very rich sources of energy, and alternatives are not yet cheap enough to replace them.  The hydrocarbon extraction industry has grown to its current size at a remarkably constant rate.  Alternative energy sources are just further down the same type of growth curve.  They will only be nurtured and grow in a society that has the means to put energy into their development. So we need to develop a carbon capture and sequestration industry that puts one atom of carbon in the ground for each ancient atom we put in the atmosphere.  We do not know how much we can sequester very well.  It is a big job, but the history of the energy industries indicates that the reverse job can probably be done.

Oil Shale

I agree with Dr. Boak's assessment in the production of oil shale that it is the product of in situ production of oil shale and is not complex and difficult to process as the heavy oil in tar sands. The oil sand is biodegraded oil with a lot of asphaltenes whereas the kerogen in oil shale is material that has never been matured underground to generate oil.  The product of in situ oil shale production consists of about 30% naphtha (gasoline), 30% kerosene (jet fuel), and 30% diesel, with only 10% heavy residual products - very different from the heavy oil that must be blended with lighter crude to make syncrude.

Adding the heat required is not inherently bad. In situ production of tar sand oil also requires extensive heating of the formation to ensure that the oil will stay fluid enough to flow.  

I believe the IEI technology to be employed in Israel will be effective and have minimal impact on the environment. I have personally met both Yuval Bartov and Harold Vinegar, and I believe that they are dedicated to environmentally sound development.  Also, these two men are brilliant in their knowledge and research of oil shale and will successfully succeed in oil shale development in an environmentally positive way.

Oil Shale

I agree with Dr. Boak and believe that IEI will have much success producing oil shale in Israel in an environmentally safe way.  I have personally met both Dr. Yuval Bartov and Harold Vinegar who are brilliant in oil shale research and will succeed in oil shale development with limited environmental consequences.

IEI has not given guarantees that it is safe

Kent, it is easy for  you say "I .. believe that IEI will have much producing oil shale in Israel  in an environmentally safe way." What does it matter to you if you happen to be wrong?

You have no skin in the game -- similarly, IEI, Boak, Bartov,  Vinegar  and IEI have not put their money where their mouth is. They have not given a bank guarantee  which can pay for clean up if and when the company declares bankruptcy and runs for it.

Israelis who love the Jewish homeland have a duty to their people to fend off the  foreign experimentation in the heart of this beautiful and historic country,

.

sigh...

I suppose being Zionists it is easier for you to see no problem with simply making up reality and then asking others to deal with the same said reality.

But guess what? This is NOT A FOREIGN OPERATION. This proposed, disastrous, horrible, climate changing and water destroying plan IS TOTALLY ZIONIST.

You have a decision to make in Save Adullam: Are you more Zionist than your concerns about the environment? If your first emotional concern is a defense of the ethically cleansed and illegally created "Jewish State" you have NO QUARREL with this development.

Get that straight, once you recognize the rights of all human beings and then-- in tandem with Bedouins who you have BY THEN reached out to who have already been victimized by this kind of development, then you can ask the rest of the world to stop this incredibly destructive, insane and immoral project. A project as immoral as stealing an entire country from people based on their religion.

Foreign Experimentation

Yuval Bartov is a native Israeli, and Harold Vinegar has chosen to retire there.  They have skin in the game, and are not foreign experimenters.  

The commenter An Adullam Resident does not offer any scientific evidence that suggests that failure of the first, small scale experiment will cause such devastation, or that, given a failed test, there will be any support for continuing.  A very similar approach has been used in Colorado without failure, so the evidence suggests rather that a test can be run without massive environmental destruction. There will be surface impacts, but the land can be reclaimed, as has been demonstrated, again in Colorado.

If I were an investor in IEI, it is likely that the respondant would be accusing me of dissembling because I was one of their investors.  So I would be damned if I did, and damned if I didn't have skin in the game.

I offer a technical assessment, putting my scientific reputation on the line to say I believe that this business is unlikely to proceed if it results in unmitigatable environmental damage.  I do not get paid enough to sacrifice that lightly for any group of investors. A significant part of my career has been spent attempting to clean up environmental and nuclear materials problems in my country, which has been one of a very few friends that Israel has in the world. So I think my opinion in the matter is a good deal less doctrinaire than the commenter's.  But I am certainly willing to change my opinion in the face of actual evidence that this process is likely to fail in any significant way except possibly politically.


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