The American Jewish Congress applauded the introduction of the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act to the U.S. Senate. The bill is a “landmark effort to establish the same type of strategic partnership between the U.S. and Israel to help solve the energy crisis as has been so successful in addressing military matters,” AJCongress Senior Vice President Jack Halpern said in a statement Wednesday. The act was introduced by Sens. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.); Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; and Mary Landrieu (D-La.). A similar piece of legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year to help foster cooperation on renewable energy products between the United States and Israel. The Senate bill, which would allow joint ventures between businesses and academics, has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural resources.