With ongoing public unrest about how big business is harming the environment, Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel is starting to take a stronger public stand to ensure Israel becomes sustainable, and that the precious resources of our environment are indeed protected. Known oil company, Noble Energy, which was acquired by US-based Chevron in October 2020, has been hit by two claims in the last months regarding the dangerous number of emissions from the Leviathan oil rig, which sits 10 kilometers off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea.
In the most recent claim, Gamliel accused the company of severe pollution violations and a fine of NIS 3.2 billion, or around $983 million. The violations came after an inspection found that harmful emissions were up to 180% more than what is permitted. The last fine received by Noble Energy was for harmful emissions released into the sea, for which they received a NIS 3.78 billion fine.
Gamliel says that “We’ll continue to operate on the principle of ‘the polluter pays’ and work to continue the close supervision of factories, to ensure full compliance with the terms of the emissions permit.” Chevron replied that “We are committed to complying with all the laws and regulations of the State of Israel including all permits granted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.”