Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party are committed to freezing development of the Leviathan offshore gas reserve immediately after the April 9 Knesset election, and moving the gas platform farther out to sea, according to the campaign platform the party released today.
The Leviathan platform is currently slated to be 10 kilometers from the shore, which has raised objections from area residents. A group representing them has called for the platform to be built 40 kilometers from the shore instead.
On Tuesday, Yesh Atid announced that it was siding with them. The opponents of Leviathan have yet to receive backing from any other significant political entities.
Yesh Atid stated that even though development of Leviathan is relatively advanced, it believes that the platform can be moved even while drilling continues.
“Yesh Atid recognizes the extreme importance of developing the natural gas reserves off Israel’s shore. That said, there were significant failures in the decision making process that allowed for gas platforms 10 kilometers from the shore,” the party stated. These potential problems include the safety issues inherent in having dangerous chemicals so close to the shore.
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Halting development could delay the gas supply from Leviathan, and may also necessitate the use of more coal-fired power plants for longer.