“Think critically of use of oil revenues”– US envoy admonishes

first_imgOil and gas conference… Guyana at crossroads of transformationThe United States Government is encouraging Guyana to give careful consideration to the ways it will invest the revenues that will develop from its promising oil and gas sector.Natural Resources Minister Raphael TrotmanThe admonition was given by Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy, Terry Steers-Gonzalez on Sunday evening, as he addressed stakeholders and other participants during the opening of the first oil and gas conference hosted by the Guyana Oil and Gas Association (GOGA). The event was held at the Marriott International hotel, Georgetown.Steers-Gonzalez was exploring the very prospect of the Liza oil find in Guyana’s waters and what the revenues garnered could do for the country’s economy and its citizens.“The confirmed reserves guarantee the revenue to allow it to develop industries and infrastructure and to create a broad-based economy with true value added, which means jobs and prosperity, if done right,” Steers-Gonzalez said.The US diplomat said the revenue would also mean that Guyana would have enough money to allow it to fund activities that would see it becoming even greener than it already was. He said it would also be critical to think strategically now of ways to invest the revenues that would develop diverse industries, physical infrastructure, citizen security, quality education and health services. According to him, these are areas that will create significant job numbers. He said recent estimates confirmed that offshore oil deposits may be as large as 1.6 billion recoverable barrels of oil, with additional resources yet to be quantified. Estimates, he said continue, to change; each time growing larger and with the growth of the numbers, so do the expectations of citizens here. According to him, legislation and regulations that protect Guyana’s interest and promote transparent resource management at all levels are key components to success.“The list of important legislations is vast and spans across the spectrum from a petroleum act to regulation to a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), licences and fees for the new industry and occupational health and safety standards,” the envoy said, noting that not just the Government but the people have an opportunity to define the future, which starts with a carefully calculated plan of action formed from the collaboration of all stakeholders that targets job creation, investment and long-term revenue management. Speaking on the economic prospects of the sector, the diplomat noted that overall Guyana’s economy has been doing well and was projected to continue along this path.“The view from the United States from this exciting industry for Guyana is that the Private Sector will play an integral role in sharing the responsibility of shaping the future of the company as the country continues to develop new industries and the regulatory structures that will govern them, (and) the role of citizens and stakeholders will grow in scope and importance.”He said Guyana was at the crossroads of a transformation.Meanwhile, addressing the forum, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said Government dubbed 2016 as “the year for preparation” and 2017 “the year of implementation”.He said experts were retained and were currently assessing ExxonMobil’s and other operators’ applications for production and exploration licences.“Further, we are considering a proposal from one of the world’s leading offshore supply companies to establish a world-class base at Crab Island, Berbice, and are examining the possibility of utilising some of the available natural gas from the Liza field for energy generation as we transition to renewables.”Government is also addressing the viability of a refinery or refineries in Guyana.The conference, held under the theme, “The initiation of transformative industry, sought to improve knowledge and understanding of the opportunities that the oil and gas sector holds for Guyana’s economy.last_img read more

Valley students help Romer get education on politicians’ radar

first_img” … All it took for me was a teacher taking two minutes to say, `Aaron, look, you can do what I am doing. You can be a pilot, you can be a paramedic,’ which is what I want to be,” he said. “Two minutes of her time was all it took. That’s what motivated me.” Joined on the panel by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and MTV News correspondent SuChin Pak, Romer visited Grant High not as the man in charge, but as an education advocate trying to effect change through the presidential primaries. “It’s a terrible thing that you graduate and walk up to a college and they say, `You’re not qualified to be here,” Romer told about 60 students who filed into Grant’s library for the discussion. “We want you to speak to these presidential candidates, in both parties. Tell them where your lives are. Tell them what you are hoping for and what you fear.” During Romer’s six-year stint at the helm of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the district built more new schools than in the 60 years prior. But the LAUSD was plagued by a dropout rate pegged as high as 50 percent. Romer noted Wednesday that more than 1 million students nationwide quit school each year, about one every 29 seconds. VALLEY GLEN – Marking his first visit to Los Angeles since retiring as schools chief last fall, Roy Romer met with students at Grant High School on Wednesday as part of a national bid to make education a priority in the upcoming presidential campaign. In town to promote the newly created Strong American Schools, a group he leads, Romer listened as teens from six San Fernando Valley high schools listed reasons why learning is a challenge these days: Apathetic teachers. Unavailable college counselors. Low expectations. “A lot of the people who are in charge of our education, they don’t expect us to do anything,” said Aaron Sanchez, a junior at Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, who blamed that on a perception that children of immigrants won’t attend college no matter how much they learn in high school. His focus now is to amplify the cry for education reform. The campaign is not pushing a cure for solving the United States’ educational ailments, but is urging presidential candidates – beginning with Republicans attending the party’s first debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley tonight – to focus on “three common-sense priorities that hold tremendous promise for improving education” – education standards, teacher quality and increased time and support for learning. “There will be differences of opinion on how you implement them,” Romer said after the Q&A with the students, which will be televised on MTV News. “That is healthy. We’re not coming in with a prescription.” With polls showing that education doesn’t rank in the top five of most Americans’ most pressing concerns – especially with the continuing war in Iraq – Romer’s group will try to reach 1 million people during the upcoming election to drive home the issue’s importance. “America has gone to sleep,” Romer said during a Daily News editorial board meeting after Wednesday’s event at Grant High. “They think the good life comes without effort.” The 18-month campaign is co-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which have committed up to $60 million for grass-roots organizing, advertising and e-marketing. “To really accomplish significant education reform, we need to mobilize the American people to engage in a dialogue with our country’s leaders,” said Broad Foundation spokeswoman Karen Denne. “We’re hoping that this campaign will be a wake-up call to the American people. That education is the one issue that affects every other issue affecting this country.” The hourlong discussion at Grant concluded with roaring applause for Jacob Levin, a senior at North Hollywood High School, who argued that school districts were hamstrung from providing better student services by a federal government that underfunds education. “You can’t expect to have an education system that works,” Jacob said, “if you don’t give kids the money they need to be able to get to college.” “That was fantastic,” MTV News’ Pak said. “You guys are some of the smartest kids. I feel better already.” Staff Writer Naush Boghossian contributed to this report. brad.greenberg@dailynews.com (818) 713-3634160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img