As Americans Struggle at Home, President Obama Pledges Millions to Bring Climate Agenda to Africa

Date: 
Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Washington, D.C. – At this week’s U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, President Obama pledged to boost annual U.S. spending for his Power Africa initiative to $300 million in order to bring electricity access to 60 million homes and businesses across sub-Saharan Africa through “clean energy” and infrastructure development programs. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) questioned the efficacy of the president’s commitment, since the Obama Administration has vowed to eradicate coal use both abroad and domestically, even though coal-based power is critical to electrification in the developing world and keeps energy costs low here at home.

 

“The president’s pledge to eradicate coal use both here and abroad undermines U.S. efforts to do good in the world and also stymies the hope of progress all over the globe” said Mike Duncan, president and CEO of ACCCE. “Low-cost, reliable fuel sources like coal are critical to powering communities, building economies and lifting billions of global citizens out of poverty. Coal has powered three industrial revolutions here in the U.S. and can play a significant role in providing energy to hospitals, manufacturing plants, water purifying and sanitation facilities and individual homes throughout Africa. Unfortunately, the president’s newest quest to bring his costly climate agenda onto the global scale will quash any opportunity for meaningful economic prosperity in Africa and the rest of the developing world.”

 

Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, said that Africa will need to rely on traditional power sources to grow its economy, including coal, and underscored that intermittent sources like wind and solar have so far contributed little to industrial development. Peabody Energy’s Advanced Energy for Life campaign helps promote coal’s role in eradicating poverty and focuses on how coal-fueled power is electrifying communities across the globe and bringing power to those who need it most.

 

A landmark study‎ released by ACCCE emphasized the important role of coal in our past, present and future societal and economic development. Coal is the world’s most used and fastest-growing energy source and has increased nearly as much as all other sources of fuel combined. While emerging economies are just beginning to realize the social and economic benefits that reliable, affordable electricity can bring, President Obama has cut funding to all overseas coal projects and imposed stringent domestic regulations that limit coal use in the U.S.

 

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