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We cheer for the African teams, so we’re a little conflicted with the USA-Ghana grudge match in the World Cup tonight. We harbor no illusions about USA’s chances to win the tournament. But at least we’ll have the electricity to watch it.
The White House and the House of Representatives have weighed in on how the United States can help bring electricity to millions of Africans and also reposition US engagement with the continent. Supportive legislation is now up to the Senate, and specifically the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
In what was perhaps another sign that the challenge of energy poverty is finding a voice in Congress, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing recently on electricity access in the 21st Century.
Summary: Senator Leahy (D, VT) represents a state which depends heavily on clean, cheap hydropower. His use of the budget bill to deny poor countries an opportunity to develop their hydropower resources leads to further erosion of global leadership by the United States and reinforces the need for BRICs Bank.
Of the many outcomes in the FY2014 Omnibus Appropriations legislation, one that stood out was buried in section 7081. This provision now allows the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to invest in fossil fuel power projects in IDA and IDA-blend countries. In other words, OPIC’s carbon cap has been lifted at least until the end of September.