Why? Here is an excerpt from today's press release from Treasury:
South Africa and the region face urgent energy needs to promote economic growth and address critical challenges, such as poverty, education and health. This project would provide significant energy capacity to meet these essential needs. We recognize that South Africa faces limited options that could provide the required energy base for South Africa and the region in lieu of the project, and that there is a lack of alternative private financing options in the wake of the financial crisis. We also recognize that, if South Africa's base load power needs are not met, the country's economic recovery will suffer, adversely impacting electrification, job creation, and social indicators.In other words, the U.S. can't countenance a project that would help lift the poor and promote the economic development of South Africa, because it would involve an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. I find such blind adherence to ideology (especially in the face of all the recent scandals that seriously undermine the science behind global warming) outrageous. It is also deeply troubling in its implications for our own economic development, since it betrays an obvious bias to put ideology first and the living standards of our citizens second.
Despite these benefits, the United States is concerned about the project since it would produce significant greenhouse gas emissions, and uncertainty remains about future mitigation efforts.