Coming soon, a spike in coal taxation will lift the sum to NIS 1b in 2012. The excise hike at NIS 66 per ton of coal will see the electricity rate raised 4 percent.

In article in Globes compares the tax excise to a recent Bibi gas price spike earlier this year, when gas prices were raised in the 2011-12 budget, sending many an irate gas pumper pointing their finger at the Likud government. As a result, Bibi cancelled the excise hike. No boycott necessary. An example of democracy and a government who cares about her citizens.

A government that really cares.

According to research done by Globes, the only company in the land to use coal is Israel Electric Corporation. They burn 12 million tons per year at their plants in Hadera and Ashkelon. The IEC will not protest as they do not pay the price for coal. The coal price spike will be paid for by consumers who regularly refund utility through their electricity bills. The IEC currently owns 26% of the National Coal Supply Corporation.

The Ministry of Finance’s request to raise the excise on coal went to Knesset Finance Committee December 27, 2010, along with the request to raise the excise on gasoline and diesel.

On August 1, Israelis will pay the new fee beginning with the annual electricity rate update.

At this point, Israel meets roughly 25% of its energy demand from coal. The National Coal Supply Corporation is the mostly government-owned (74%) firm solely responsible for securing the country’s coal imports.

All of Israel’s coal supplies are imported. About half come from South Africa, the rest from Colombia, the United States, Indonesia, Australia, and Poland.

Israel imports some 10 million short tons of coal per year. Growth in coal demand is obviously driven by growth in electricity demand.

Greenpeace Organization activists climbed the Jerusalem Chords Bridge on Sunday protesting against the planned opening of a third coal plant in Ashkelon.

Last week, Greenpeace activists went to Jerusalem to protest the opening of a third coal plant in Ashkelon. They hung posters and a 60 foot banner from the Chord Bridge saying, “Bibi stop the coal plant.”

The project to build the new plant, called ‘Project D’, was promoted by Israel Electric Corporation and by the Ministry of National Infrastructures. The Environmental Protection Ministry claims that a coal plant will harm the air quality in Ashkelon.
They demand that the Ministry of National Infrastructures invests in more energy-efficient and cleaner options to produce electricity.

On Sunday, Greenpeace said that they

“hope [the government] took under consideration the disastrous outcomes of another polluting plant, hurting the Ashkelon residents’ health, as well as it’s ‘contribution’ to over a 10% increase in Israeli greenhouse gas.”

Greenpeace also said that the discovery of natural gas by both the Tamar and Leviathan drilling firms makes the coal plant increasingly superfluous.
Greenpeace Spokeswoman Hila Krupsky said:

“We are here today, on the Chords Bridge, to call on Netanyahu and remind him that coal burning is the major cause of pollution, morbidity and an increase in climate change…Just this past year we’ve witnessed a drastic change in the weather, a tough drought and barley any rain. We experienced the horrible Carmel fire in December. Today one can no longer ignore the climate change and the responsibility to stop this phenomenon. Benjamin Netanyahu, you are the head of this State and the responsibility rests on your shoulders.”