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As part of his campaign platform, Barack Obama promised to coordinate with our northern and southern neighbors on environmental issues.
One aspect of that promise centered around an Energy Partnership for the Americas, a coalition that would "increase research and development in clean coal technology, the next generation of sustainable biofuels and in wind, solar and nuclear energy," according to a campaign position memo. "The partnership will also look for ways for nations to coordinate to transport green energy across national borders. It will help Latin American and Caribbean nations become more energy independent and promote sustainable growth for the region. The partnership also will create additional markets for American biofuels and American-made green energy technology."
The White House took the first steps to keep this promise in April 2009. President Barack Obama traveled to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to attend the Fifth Summit of the Americas. At the meeting, he invited countries of the region to participate in the partnership. A White House press release described the project as a "voluntary and flexible framework for advancing energy security and combating climate change. Countries will be encouraged to suggest tangible ideas for cooperation, including on energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner fossil fuels, and energy infrastructure."
During that trip, Obama and Mexico President Felipe Calderon also made an agreement to work more closely on energy and climate issues.
In August, Obama met again with Calderon and this time included Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the discussions. The trio announced the "North American Leaders' Declaration on Climate Change and Clean Energy." That's a long way of saying that the three countries committed to sharing carbon emissions data, to collaborating on research and development to advance renewable energy and carbon storage, and to harmonizing energy efficiency standards among the three countries.
The group also agreed to develop a unified electricity grid meant to transport renewable energy among the three countries.
Sounds like an Energy Partnership for the Americas to us. We rate this one Promise Kept.
White House, press release on the Summit of the Americas , accessed Aug. 18, 2009
White House, press release on April U.S.-Mexico Meeting , accessed Aug. 18, 2009
Environment News Service, Three Leaders Vow to Forge a "Low-Carbon North America," Aug. 10, 2009