Israeli Black Globe Award Went to IEI for Oil Shale Agenda

"elah valley oil shale"The Elah Valley, which IEI hopes to use as testing grounds for oil shale extraction.

The annual Israeli “Green Globe” award ceremony, hosted by the environmental umbrella organization Life and Environment, took place last Thursday where recipients included Minister of the Environment Gilad Arden.  That award ceremony is not all pats-on-the-back and positive recognition, however.  It has a dark side, in the form of a Black Globe “awarded” to the most environmentally damaging entity over the past year.  Last year the Black Globe went to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his proposed ineffective environmental planning reform.

This year the Black Globe was bestowed upon Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI) for activities detrimental to the environment.  The company’s proposed plan to test oil shale technologies in the Elah Valley would wreak serious environmental havoc on the region and IEI has been met with a great deal of protest.

Protesters are opposing:

  • Increased greenhouse gas emissions
  • On-site storage of hazardous materials
  • Multiple boreholes
  • Risk of other poluttants
  • Irreversible alteration of the landscape for decades to come

Some of the protest was started right here at Green Prophet, when fellow writer Tafline Laylin posted an open letter to David de Rothschild whose family is involved in the project.  Tafline urged him to use whatever influence he could wield in order to stop the IEI project, writing that:

“We have followed your Plastiki Initiative with great interest, but now fear that your family’s involvement with the Adullam Oil Shale scheme recently announced by Globes will cancel out your good work, establishing a permanent blight on the Rothschild name… Your second cousin Lord Jacob Rothschild has been duped into believing that the project is environmentally sound… This could not be further from the truth.”

Surprisingly, David de Rothschild responded to Tafline very quickly and wrote that:

“I am part of a large family with many diverse opinions but I, as an individual actively discourage environmentally harmful activities.  However I have previously, and as is in this case, will continue to write to not only family members but also other individuals and businesses about how their actions influence the world environmentally in the hope that they will place a greater significance on this area and seek alternatives that can help us tread more lightly.”

Hopefully the active protests and the recent Black Globe award will encourage IEI to cease its proposed oil shale extraction experiments.

Read more about IEI and its oil shale project::
Oil & Wine Don’t Mix: Over 1,000 Israelis Protest Oil Shale in Adullam
Open Letter to David de Rothschild: Stop Your Family’s Oil Shale Exploration
David de Rothschild Responds to Green Prophet’s Oil-Shale Plea

Image via: Chadica

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One thought on “Israeli Black Globe Award Went to IEI for Oil Shale Agenda”

  1. Jeremy Boak says:

    I find it remarkable that there is so little environmental damage occurring in Israel in the course of a year that the Black Globe Award for “the most environmentally damaging entity over the past year” is given to presumed environmental effects, not yet even demonstrable, of a project that is in the planning stages.

    There appears to be a conclusion that greenhouse gases must be emitted from this project, despite the fact that an energy source has not yet been chosen for the project; that hazardous materials must, if stored in a place, destroy the local environment; that boreholes, once completed, must forever blight the viewscape; that other unspecified pollutants must inevitably accompany the project, and that alteration of a portion of the landscape for a period is a permanent environmental impact. Otherwise, the award seems wholly unjustified.

    I can believe that a government might not be perfect in its administration of environmental laws and regulations, and therefore require regular scrutiny to avoid unnecessary impact, but I don’t see a lot of evidence that Israel is so backward in its environmental legislation that this project cannot proceed with carefully managed, impermanent environmental impacts. Indeed, the lack of any other greater environmental threat in the past year suggests that Israel’s environmental laws must be working fairly well.

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