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senate Bill S. 2152

Should U.S. Policies Promote Increased Electricity Generation in Africa?

Argument in favor

No country is better positioned to assist in developing Africa’s electrical infrastructure than the U.S. Widely accessible and reliable electricity will accelerate sub-Saharan Africa’s economic develop and enhance regional stability.

Aidan-WC's Opinion
···
03/29/2016
Our nation should be assisting and encouraging energy resources across the globe. However, before we take some action in foreign nations we must prioritize where we live first (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA). Our nations energy infrastructure must be highly improved before we worry about the outside world. Our nation desperately needs to increase solar energy to provide us with our daily electricity, electrical cars instead of vehicles that burn fuel and release exhaust into our environment EVERY DAY! Polluting our air. Some out there may say electrical vehicles and solar panels have absolutely no positive impact on our environment. (THEY ARE INCORRECT) any form of energy contribution weather BIG OR SMALL CAN IMPROVE OUR ENVIRONMENT THAT MUCH MORE MORE. In addition, some may say that once we patch up our energy issues then we can just help everyone, this is incorrect as well, Why so? GREAT QUESTION, here is why: "Your nation can never be perfect with a clean/sanitary energy environment, there is always something to add or improve". So my point being is, Once our citizens and federal government are satisfied that we have passed our energy expectations (AND NOT NECESSARILY PERFECT BECAUSE YOU CAN NEVER BE FULLY PERFECT) then we may assist/guide/ and take action for our allies to the right doing to contribute positively to our global environment. Hope this was helpful :)
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Jake's Opinion
···
02/02/2016
Cost of $1 million? That's just a small loan according to Trump. This benefits so many people and is literally nothing to us, so long as we don't exceed the CBO estimate.
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AndrewGVN's Opinion
···
01/06/2016
I'm for full support of this bill, if it doesn't cost a whole lot of money. Improving the state of countries will generate a better economy on a worldwide level. If there are any big potential costs, I believe that this involvement should go before United States allies, to create a multi-nation cooperation to provide Africa with more, efficient resources.
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Argument opposed

The federal government is running a deficit and is already struggling to update domestic infrastructure. African governments that would be U.S. partners in this effort need financial resources more than bureaucratic coordination.

Loraki's Opinion
···
08/22/2016
While the intent of this bill is laudable, WHY CAN'T YOU PEOPLE GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD THAT OUR NATION IS CARRYING AN UNSUSTAINABLE BURDEN OF DEBT! ON TOP OF THAT, WE HAVE TO MANY THINGS HERE AT HOME THAT NEED TAKEN CARE OF! The time has come to turn your focus inward and do something CONSTRUCTIVE about the problems here in America! I'd rather see that money go toward helping areas hit by wildfires or flooding! Or towards improving this country's vulnerability as far as nuclear/EMP/chemical/biological attacks are concerned! And how about border security? And the needs of our veterans, vulnerable senior citizens, and the homeless (and I don't mean illegal aliens!)? We've been Big Brother to the world for decades. THANKS TO THE RECKLESS, IRRESPONSIBLE SPENDING BY OBAMA AND HIS WILLING ACCOMPLICES IN CONGRESS, WE ARE NO LONGER IN A POSITION TO CONTINUE THAT RELATIONSHIP! America needs to get back to its roots, regroup, rebuild, and rededicate itself to its founding principles of national security and sovereignty, a small federal government, states' rights, and individual freedom! We must once again uphold the Constitution as the supreme law of the land [based on Judeo-Christian principles] and make it ILLEGAL to practice Shariah Law anywhere within our borders!
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operaman's Opinion
···
02/02/2016
When US pays off our National debt and upgrades our electrical infrastructures, then we as a nation can re-evaluate Africa.
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BTSundra's Opinion
···
02/04/2016
Let them figure it out for themselves, it's not our problem.
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What is Senate Bill S. 2152?

This bill would make it U.S. policy to partner with the governments of sub-Saharan African countries, international financial institutions, and African private sectors to:

  • Promote first-time access to power services for at least 50 million people and encourage the installation of at least 20,000 additional megawatts of electrical power in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020;

  • Promote reliable and affordable power in urban, rural, and underserved areas;

  • Encourage necessary reforms to support electricity access projects and market-based power generation and distribution;

  • Develop and promote an energy development strategy for sub-Saharan Africa that includes the use of oil, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and geothermal power;

  • Promote policies to displace kerosene lighting with other technologies;

  • Expand the use of private financing, and seek ways to remove barriers to private financing and assistance for projects, including through charitable organizations.

The President would be directed to:

  • Establish a multiyear strategy to assist countries in sub-Saharan Africa with implementing national power strategies that use an appropriate mix of power solutions and provide access to affordable, reliable electricity;

  • Ensure that the strategy remains responsive to local community concerns and technological innovation.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation would be urged to:

  • Prioritize efforts and assistance for power projects and markets in sub-Saharan Africa;

  • Partner with other investors and local institutions, including the private sector, to increase access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power.

Additionally, the President would be encouraged to use U.S. influence at international bodies to advocate for:

  • Increasing investment in power sector and electrification projects in sub-Saharan Africa;

  • Addressing energy needs of individuals and communities where electricity grid access is impractical or cost-prohibitive;

  • Enhancing private sector coordination;

  • Assisting sub-Saharan African governments to remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to investment.

Within three years the President would provide Congress with a strategy progress report that includes information about U.S. programs supporting increased power generation in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly projects receiving U.S. government support.

Impact

People and groups in sub-Saharan Africa that are developing or in need of affordable and reliable electricity, and both private and federal entities involved in providing assistance to improve electrical infrastructure in Africa.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2152

$1.00 Million
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost less than $1 million over the 2016-2020 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) introduced this legislation to ensure that public and private resources can be leveraged to expand the availability and reliability of electricity to 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who are currently without electricity:

“I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan approach for leveraging private capital to bring financially viable electric power to millions of people in Africa for the first time. When making choices about limited foreign aid dollars, our country should focus on efforts like energy where we can transform lives and create a foundation for economic growth through private sector investment.”

This bill was passed by the Senate with unanimous consent in December 2015, where it has been supported by 23 cosponsors including nine Democrats and 14 Republicans.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user PowerAfrica)

AKA

Electrify Africa Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to establish a comprehensive United States Government policy to encourage the efforts of countries in sub-Saharan Africa to develop an appropriate mix of power solutions, including renewable energy, for more broadly distributed electricity access in order to support poverty reduction, promote development outcomes, and drive economic growth, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • EnactedFebruary 8th, 2016
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed February 1st, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • The senate Passed December 18th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedOctober 7th, 2015

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    Our nation should be assisting and encouraging energy resources across the globe. However, before we take some action in foreign nations we must prioritize where we live first (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA). Our nations energy infrastructure must be highly improved before we worry about the outside world. Our nation desperately needs to increase solar energy to provide us with our daily electricity, electrical cars instead of vehicles that burn fuel and release exhaust into our environment EVERY DAY! Polluting our air. Some out there may say electrical vehicles and solar panels have absolutely no positive impact on our environment. (THEY ARE INCORRECT) any form of energy contribution weather BIG OR SMALL CAN IMPROVE OUR ENVIRONMENT THAT MUCH MORE MORE. In addition, some may say that once we patch up our energy issues then we can just help everyone, this is incorrect as well, Why so? GREAT QUESTION, here is why: "Your nation can never be perfect with a clean/sanitary energy environment, there is always something to add or improve". So my point being is, Once our citizens and federal government are satisfied that we have passed our energy expectations (AND NOT NECESSARILY PERFECT BECAUSE YOU CAN NEVER BE FULLY PERFECT) then we may assist/guide/ and take action for our allies to the right doing to contribute positively to our global environment. Hope this was helpful :)
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    While the intent of this bill is laudable, WHY CAN'T YOU PEOPLE GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD THAT OUR NATION IS CARRYING AN UNSUSTAINABLE BURDEN OF DEBT! ON TOP OF THAT, WE HAVE TO MANY THINGS HERE AT HOME THAT NEED TAKEN CARE OF! The time has come to turn your focus inward and do something CONSTRUCTIVE about the problems here in America! I'd rather see that money go toward helping areas hit by wildfires or flooding! Or towards improving this country's vulnerability as far as nuclear/EMP/chemical/biological attacks are concerned! And how about border security? And the needs of our veterans, vulnerable senior citizens, and the homeless (and I don't mean illegal aliens!)? We've been Big Brother to the world for decades. THANKS TO THE RECKLESS, IRRESPONSIBLE SPENDING BY OBAMA AND HIS WILLING ACCOMPLICES IN CONGRESS, WE ARE NO LONGER IN A POSITION TO CONTINUE THAT RELATIONSHIP! America needs to get back to its roots, regroup, rebuild, and rededicate itself to its founding principles of national security and sovereignty, a small federal government, states' rights, and individual freedom! We must once again uphold the Constitution as the supreme law of the land [based on Judeo-Christian principles] and make it ILLEGAL to practice Shariah Law anywhere within our borders!
    Like (13)
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    When US pays off our National debt and upgrades our electrical infrastructures, then we as a nation can re-evaluate Africa.
    Like (8)
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    Let them figure it out for themselves, it's not our problem.
    Like (6)
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    How about we deal with our own infrastructure? Get our own house in order, before we go abroad and try to solve the worlds problems.
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    Cost of $1 million? That's just a small loan according to Trump. This benefits so many people and is literally nothing to us, so long as we don't exceed the CBO estimate.
    Like (3)
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    There are many companies willing to help Africa with their electrical grid. We have our own issues with the electrical grid. We should fix our electrical grid before we spend money on someone else.
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    Why are we funding Africa when the unemployment rate is high, the private sector is suffering, and the economy is trash??? Priorities???
    Like (2)
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    I'm for full support of this bill, if it doesn't cost a whole lot of money. Improving the state of countries will generate a better economy on a worldwide level. If there are any big potential costs, I believe that this involvement should go before United States allies, to create a multi-nation cooperation to provide Africa with more, efficient resources.
    Like (2)
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    None of our business
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    Our policies need to be to reduce our deficit, not spend more.
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    No! Due to the fact that our current dictator has made great strides in trying to destroy our coal fired power plants for the bogus "climate change" hoax, let's pass on this one. We could send the entire Department of Energy over to fix this for them.
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    There are parts of our own country that don't have reliable power due to our ailing infrastructure. How about we fix that before blundering into another country?
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    Our country has so many problems that our law maker should be working and are not. Actions on problems having to be placed on hold or postponed because our law makers are too busy. Now they want to take on African problems? Are kidding me. Take care of business at home first then when they are taken care of then spend your time helping others. This is a reckless move by the Senate. And you know this is going to cost the American tax payer money. Stop this crap.
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    The cost of this bill is just $1 million. Our military budget in 2015 was $598.5 billion. Anyone that argues that we need to focus on our problems domestically is simply arrogant and turning a blind eye to the terrible conditions that most African countries face. As one of the strongest global powers, it is our obligation to aid suffering countries in any way that we can. I urge all of you to research a little bit into organizations such as Sole Hope and you will understand where I am coming from. They need our help and helping them get a jump start with electricity generation is the very least we can do.
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    It is within any nations best interest to secure its own security and prosperity, at home and abroad. American politics, along with decisions it affects, need to utilize cost/benefit analysis more readily as would a business. It is within the nations best interest to make sure that any and every decision it makes regarding foreign affairs benefits itself more than others. Some may say this is "selfish"; to those who do, I would urge them to educate themselves by reading Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. Limited resources and unlimited demand is the basis for economics. Having said that, if it can be proven that assisting African nations in building infrastructure to produce more electricity will in turn benefit the US in a positive way, action should be taken. If not, then no action should be taken.
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    With a 20 trillion debt, WHY is this even in consideration!!
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    Let's mind our own fences first. Our power grid is exceptionally vulnerable to EMP and a solar flare. How about we work,on that?
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    We have struggling Americans who need help. We should help our own people first.
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    I think it sounds like a great idea but who does the government plan to make rich off this? I don't believe for one second that out "public servants" have the slightest interest in serving the public, just lining their pockets
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