Category: Latin American Law & Business Report

The Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) as a Metaphor for the Decline of United States Hegemony in the Western Hemisphere

As Published in Volumes 26 and 27 of Latin American Essays, MACLAS (Mid-Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies), 2014, pp. 19-32

Thomas Andrew O’Keefe
Mercosur Consulting Group, Ltd. & Stanford University

Introduction

The idea for an Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas was first floated by then Senator Barack Hussein Obama in the sole policy address he gave on Latin America and the Caribbean during his initial run for the White House. The primary purpose of that May 2008 speech in Miami was to garner Cuban-American votes for his candidacy as well as that of two Cuban-American Democrats and one Colombian-American challenging incumbent Cuban-American Republican congresspersons from south Florida.[1] Not surprisingly, the speech focused heavily on U.S. relations with Cuba. Obama did, however, mention a proposal to create an Energy Partnership for the Americas. In particular, Obama stated that, if elected, his administration would allow industrial emitters of greenhouse gases in the United States to offset a portion of their emissions by investing in low carbon energy projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. He also pledged to increase research and development across the Americas in clean coal technology, in the next generation of sustainable biofuels not taken from food crops, and in wind, solar and nuclear energy.

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03/13/14. 01:53:16 pm. Categories: Articles, Latin American Law & Business Report ,

While the United States Slept, South America Walked

As published in Volume 24 of the MACLAS (Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies) Latin American Essays (2011), pp. 43-55.

By Thomas Andrew O’Keefe
Stanford University



I. Introduction

Since the terrorist attacks on the United States mainland in September 2001, the strong political and economic influence that the United States once wielded over South America has steadily eroded as a result of rising new global economic powers and a multiplicity of self-inflicted foreign policy fiascos under the Bush administration that forced officials in Washington, D.C. to turn their attention elsewhere in the world. Despite initial promising rhetoric from the Obama administration of a new relationship with the South American continent premised on a partnership, particularly on the issues of energy security and climate change, the loss of influence continues. The United States remains mired in intractable conflicts in Western Asia, its economic recovery tenuous, and a highly partisan political system at the Federal level makes it impossible to achieve a consensus on addressing major issues of importance to the future of not only the country but the planet.

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04/04/10. 08:01:40 pm. Categories: Articles, Latin American Law & Business Report ,