Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge fund executive and environmental activist from San Francisco, chose his venue carefully.
“It is here President Obama drew his own personal line in the sand,” Steyer said as he convened a conference on the Keystone XL pipeline Monday at Georgetown University.
The reference was to a speech by Obama in June in which the president declared he would approve Keystone only if backers of the pipeline could prove that the project would not accelerate climate change. The pipeline is designed to move hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil daily 1,200 miles from Canadian tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries.
The conclusion reached at Steyer’s conference was unanimous and hardly surprising. Experts invited by Steyer and other conference organizers, all of whom oppose the project, declared that it would not meet the president’s test.
The event was another reminder of how politically awkward Keystone has become for Obama. Steyer is one of the president’s biggest donors. A fundraising event he held at his home during the reelection campaign was one of Obama’s most successful. Other deep-pocketed donors listen to Steyer. Democrats in Washington are eager to tap his funds.
And Steyer is on a crusade against Keystone. The billionaire not long ago quit his job running a major San Francisco hedge fund to spend all his time campaigning on global warming issues. Pressure applied by Steyer, the star of his advertising campaign against Keystone, has helped put into limbo a project that once seemed headed for approval.
Obama’s comments at Georgetown and elsewhere since that speech have indicated that he is strongly considering denying the project the approval it needs to go forward.
How much of an impact Keystone would have on the environment is fiercely debated. The State Department declared this year that rejecting the project would do little to slow climate change. The oil would still flow, its analysis warned, only to be shipped by rail. But soon after, the Environmental Protection Agency criticized that analysis, releasing a comment letter warning that the State Department approach had failed to properly assess key variables, including the market for the heavy tar-sands oil.
Steyer’s event Monday was a cross between political pressure and academic symposium. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who introduced Steyer, called it “an in-your-face summit.” But much of the day involved scientists and advocates showcasing detailed slide shows to make their points against the project.
Spanish mobile network operator Xfera Moviles, which offers services under the Yoigo banner, has announced that it plans to expand LTE coverage to six additional provinces this month.
With the cellco already providing its 4G products in Madrid, Malaga, Valencia, Barcelona, Alicante and Seville, this week it will extend its footprint to Castellon, Tarragona, Girona, Cordoba, Huelva and Vizcaya.
With rollout continuing apace, Yoigo has confirmed that it is aiming to offer its LTE-based tariffs to more than 22.5 million people, or around 48% of the population, by the end of the year.
Looking further ahead, by the end of the first quarter of 2014 the mobile operator has set out its stall to offer 4G in all cities with more than 70,000 inhabitants.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Yoigo launched LTE services in mid-July 2013; despite having aimed to be the first operator to market the technology commercially, it was beaten to the punch by both Vodafone Spain and Orange Espana, which launched at end-May and early-July, respectively.
It’s Telecentre.org Foundation’s 4th Anniversary and to commemorate the occasion, we’ve prepared a special e-Card for you to download and share with your community. To all our members, partners, and friends: Thank you for a wonderful four years!
Microsoft yesterday announced the appointment of Otema Yirenkyi as the company's first country manager for Ghana.
This is even as the company shifts its global focus to a devices and services offering, as Ghana remains one of its critical investment markets in Africa.
Otema, a native Ghanaian with over 14 years of ICT experience, will take the helm of its increasing investment in the country.
Otema is Microsoft's first female country manager on the African continent and holds a BSc degree in Industrial and Labour Relations, as well as an MA in Development Studies.
"We have seen tremendous growth in broadband availability and internet penetration in Ghana, as well as the introduction of newer devices such as tablets and smartphones, which have fundamentally changed how consumers experience and use technology," says Otema.
Ghana's current mobile penetration rate is at an estimated 112%, after the country hit the 100% mark at the end of 2012. These numbers are the highest in Africa, placing Ghana 49th in the world, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
"This always-on, always-connected era that we find ourselves in holds new promise for what technology can bring to people's lives and to businesses. And it gives us an opportunity to use our technology, talent, time and money to help create sustainable growth in the country and across the African continent."
It is interesting to see what other countries do with broadband – in terms of how they deploy, adopt and prioritize. So I was very interested in learn what the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) had to say in their recent Broadband Manifesto.
The ITU focuses on technology and broadband as a tool for democracy and a tool to bring about equity, especially to emerging nations. They recognize the power of broadband to boost education, healthcare and economic development. But they also highlight broadband as a tool to help raise the voices of the under-heard populations. They value access to technology as power to use technology to tell o story; they value free and open channels for communication.
Access to open communication is something we don’t think about here in the US – but their Manifesto can speak to our needs here too…
In line with the upcoming debut of SparkLab on October 17 and 18 in Barcelona, Spain, Telecentre.org Foundation (TCF) and its partners in the SparkLab initiative recently unveiled the SparkLab microsite which is accessible via the URL http://www.telecentre.org/sparklab....
As from beginning of 2012 ICT applications have been introduced in different Value Chains in Western Kenya in order to stimulate access to markets, to make better informed decisions on marketing and to improve the performance of Value Chains for...
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