The State Department press release is available here, and the full event webcast is available here.
While the discussion was wide-ranging, there were four key takeaways worth highlighting:
Despite assumptions that California is an affluent and prosperous state, a comprehensive assessment of various US congressional districts on metrics of health, education, and income in 2008 placed the San Joaquin area’s 20th congressional district as the worst performer in the United States. In 2010, the San Joaquin Valley earned the moniker “Appalachia of the West.”
Creation of a natural gas hub is perceived in international quarters as a way of meeting national goals for competitive natural gas supply and delivery, providing market prices adequate to inform producers and consumers, and creating a security of supply based on diversification of sources.
The Issue: Oil and fuel theft in the maritime space constitutes billions of dollars of losses annually for governments and billions of dollars in criminal profits for corrupt individuals, reckless companies, transnational criminal organizations and terrorist groups.
In 2012, two of the most economically distressed regions in the United States were Eastern Kentucky and the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. Thousands of miles apart, the regions shared a key characteristic: economic dependence on the fossil fuel industry amid rapidly shifting energy markets.
The European Union has been integrating its national markets into one single market since the 1987 Single European Act, the first major revision to the 1957 Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community and later the European Commission. Slowly but surely, the European Union also undertook liberalization of various sectors, introducing competition where there was a monopoly, starting with steel and coal.
The Issue: While nuclear power represents a key source of reliable, emissions-free, baseload power, contributes to a diverse energy portfolio, and represents a key area of technological leadership, the United States traditional international leadership role is being severely challenged, especially by China and Russia.
In late February, a bipartisan coalition of thirty-four student groups from around the country—twenty-three of which are College Republican chapters—launched Students for Carbon Dividends (S4CD). S4CD advocates for the Baker-Shultz carbon dividend, a policy proposal that would impose a carbon tax of $40 per ton, return those tax proceeds to Americans taxpayers, create border carbon adjustments for exports and imports, and circumscribe the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s regulatory authority, including the repeal of the Clean Power Plan.
While strident, AMLO’s rhetoric has often been dismissed as campaign talk.