31 May 2017   Leave a comment

The US Energy Information Administration has released the figures for the sources of electricity in the US for the first quarter of 2017 and the data indicate that the US has made unexpected progress toward the use of renewable sources:

“According to the EIA, renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal power accounted for 10.68 percent of total electricity generation in the first quarter of 2017. If you include electricity from conventional hydroelectric plants, renewables made up nearly a fifth of total electricity generation—as much as 19.35 percent.”

Previous estimates of the shares of renewables were in the range of 18% by 2040.

The opposition to Venezuelan President Maduro are furious that the US investment firm, Goldman Sachs, purchased nearly $3 billion of Venezuelan bonds.  The opposition charges that the purchase provides money to the beleaguered regime that has been the target of intense protests over the last few years.  Venezuela is essentially bankrupt after years of economic mismanagement and the sale of assets such as bonds are the only source of money for the government.  In economic terms the purchase makes a great deal of sense.  Goldman Sachs bought the bonds for 31 cents on the dollar and Venezuela has never defaulted on a foreign bond.  But the political implications of the purchase are that Maduro is being enabled to stay in power and continue to erode Venezuelan democracy.

The Taliban exploded a water truck filled with explosives near the presidential residence in Kabul, an attack that resulted in at least 80 dead.  It was one of the deadliest attacks in the war in Afghanistan which has been going on since 2001.  The explosion, in an allegedly secure area, is a profound testament to the futility of the war.   The Taliban is proving to be far more resilient than American policymakers have ever imagined.  But one should keep in mind that the Afghans also forced the Soviet Union to leave the country after its attempt to control the country.  Foreign troops have no legitimacy in such a war and we should keep that note in mind as US President Trump contemplates re-sending American troops to the country.

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Posted May 31, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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