2010 SLC News and Updates
August 26, 2010
September 13, 2010 | Waynesboro, Georgia
Energy & Environment Committee Delegation
On September 13, 2010, members of the Energy & Environment Committee, including Committee Chair, Representative Chuck Martin, Georgia, traveled to the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Augusta, Georgia. The plant currently operates two nuclear reactors and is in the process of building two additional units. The group of Southern legislators and staff saw presentations on electricity generation at the plant; toured the containment buildings that house the two working reactors, turbines, electric generators and control rooms; and visited the grounds where water intake facilities and the 500-foot cooling towers are located. In addition, the group toured the construction sites where the two new units are being built. Once these reactors come on line, the plant's generating capacity will be more than 4,600 megawatts.
September 14, 2010
September 18, 2010
|Left to right: Speaker Pro Tem Kris Steele, Oklahoma; Colleen Cousineau, SLC Executive Director; Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, Georgia; Yang Jiemian, Ph.D., President, Shanghai Institute for International Studies; Senator William Wampler, Virginia; Senate President Pro Tempore-Elect Paul Bookout, Arkansas; and Sujit CanagaRetna, SLC Senior Fiscal Analyst|
September 18-25, 2010
Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation
A delegation of legislators from The Council of State Governments’ Southern Office, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), recently traveled to China for the second consecutive year. As in 2009, the 2010 SLC delegation’s visit to China was sponsored by the Hong-Kong-based China-U.S. Exchange Foundation and organized by The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC). Both the Foundation and the Association seek to bolster links between China and the United States by promoting a deeper understanding of the environmental, economic, social and political developments in both China and the United States. China also has emerged as a critical trading partner in all the Southern states, reinforcing the need for a more comprehensive appreciation of the economic dynamics of states in the SLC and the different provinces in China.
The 2010 SLC delegation to China comprised Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, Georgia, delegation leader; President Pro Tempore-Elect Paul Bookout, Arkansas; Speaker Pro Tem Kris Steele, Oklahoma; and Senator William Wampler, Virginia. Colleen Cousineau, SLC executive director, and Sujit CanagaRetna, SLC senior fiscal analyst, staffed the delegation.
Day 1 (Sunday)
- The delegation toured Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City and received briefings on the sites by a representative of the CPAFFC.
- The delegation was hosted to a welcome dinner and banquet by representatives of the CPAFFC and the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation.
Day 2 (Monday)
- The delegation’s appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing consisted of an economic and political briefing by Robert Goldberg, Deputy Chief of Mission; Joe L. Sepulveda, Second Secretary for Environment, Science, Technology and Health; Jeffrey D. Horwitz, Deputy Chief for Policy Analysis and Economic Affairs; Candy Green, External Unit Chief of the Economic Section; Keith M. Anderson, Deputy Chief, Political Section; and Patrick Chen, Vice Chief, Section of Renewable Energy and New Materials.
- The delegation proceeded to Beijing Central Rail Station to board a high-speed rail train to Tianjin, which reached a top speed of 328 kilometers per hour (or 203 miles per hour). In Tianjin, delegation members met with officials of the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area’s (TEDA) Investment Promotion Bureau, one of the major economic development zones in China. A number of foreign businesses operate in the TEDA including American companies such as Motorola, Tyco, IBM, Pepsi and Honeywell. TEDA officials provided a briefing on the evolution, progress and future plans of the Area.
- The delegation was hosted to a banquet dinner in Beijing by Ms. Clarie Lo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation.
Day 3 (Tuesday)
- During the morning period, the delegation visited the Chinese Ministry of Railways in Beijing for a detailed briefing of China’s high-speed rail plans and efforts. This briefing was led by Mr. Zheng Jian, Chief Planner, Ministry of Railways; Mr. Liu Lianqing, Director General and Senior Engineer, U.S. Railway Project Working Group, Ministry of Railways; and Mr. Weng Jiayu, Assistant Director General, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Railways.
- In the afternoon, the delegation travelled to Tianpu in the outskirts of Beijing to tour the Tianpu Solar Energy Group. The company is a major manufacturer of various solar power related items including water heaters, photo voltaic panels, flash lights and other renewable energy components.
- The delegation returned to Beijing to the headquarters of the CPAFFC for a banquet dinner hosted by Mr. Zhou Wenzhong, Vice President, China-U.S. Peoples Friendship Association and former Chinese Ambassador to the United States.
Day 4 (Wednesday)
- In the morning session, the delegation toured the Great Wall of China, one of the ancient wonders of the world.
- In the afternoon, the delegation flew to Shanghai. After landing at Shanghai International Airport, the delegation rode the Maglev train to Longyang Road station in Pudong, a distance of 30 kilometers, or 18.6 miles. While the Maglev train can reach a maximum operating speed of 431 kilometers per hour (268 miles per hour), during the SLC delegation’s ride, the train reached a speed of 301 kilometers per hour, or 187 miles per hour.
- During the evening, the delegation attended a traditional Chinese acrobatics show.
Day 5 (Thursday)
- The delegation visited the 2010 World Expo grounds to tour a number of the pavilions. The U.S. Department of State provided the SLC delegation with VIP access to the United States pavilion, including a special guided tour and introductions while the CPAFFC arranged for VIP access to the China pavilion. Coincidentally, the day the SLC delegation visited the World Expo was also the day that the 2010 Expo attendance record was established with 631,000 visitors touring the Expo site’s extensive grounds.
Day 6 (Friday)
- For the second consecutive year, the SLC delegation met with Dr. Yang Jiemian, President of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies. The Institute, founded in 1960, is a think tank covering international relations between China and the rest of the world. Discussions between the SLC delegation and Dr. Jiemian covered a broad range of topics of bilateral interest.
September 19, 2010
September 21, 2010
September 23, 2010
September 29, 2010
October 7, 2010
October 14, 2010
October 25, 2010
October 26, 2010
Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) Executive Director Colleen Cousineau and SLC Senior Fiscal Analyst Sujit CanagaRetna visited the Oklahoma State Capitol on October 25-26, 2010, to participate in a series of meetings set up by Oklahoma House Speaker-Elect Kris Steele related to criminal justice reform in the state. The visit included briefings by Michael Thompson, Executive Director of The Council of State Governments’ Justice Center, to selected members of both the Oklahoma House (including Representative Lee Denney, a participant in CALS Class of 2010, the SLC’s leadership program) and Senate on the Justice Center’s work through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. This Initiative, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and The Pew Charitable Trusts, combines various national policy initiatives in nearly a dozen states to increase public safety, reduce spending on corrections, and improve conditions in the neighborhoods to which most people released from prison return. Along with meetings with Speaker-Elect Steele, SLC staff also met with Senator Brian Bingman and attended a press conference held by Speaker-Elect Steele to announce that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma had received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to fund the agency's Amachi program, which provides one-on-one mentoring for children whose parents are in prison.
October 28, 2010
Left to right: Lori Moore, SLC Manager of Operations and Programs; Lonnie Dutreix, A-3 Test Stand Project Manager; Senator David Baria, Mississippi, Gulf Coast and Atlantic States Regional Task Force Presiding Officer; Ken Fern, Jr., SLC Deputy Director; Representative Al Williams, Georgia; Representative Jamie Ison, Alabama; Representative Billy Broomfield, Mississippi, SLC 1st Vice-Chair; and Representative Frances Fredericks, Mississippi
October 29, 2010 | Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Energy & Environment Committee Technical Tour
According to a risk assessment report released by power company Entergy Corporation, the Gulf Coast could see $350 billion in losses over the next 20 years as a result of global warming, stronger and more frequent hurricanes, and environmental damage. Members of the Gulf Coast and Atlantic States Regional Task Force convened for a one-day legislative fly-in to talk with experts regarding natural and environmental disaster preparedness, oil spill damage assessment and recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast. The group of legislators, representing counties along the Gulf of Mexico from SLC member states, were hosted by Task Force presiding officer, Senator David Baria, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. In addition to hearing from experts in marine science and natural resource damage assessment, the group also toured NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center and the Naval Oceanographic Office, which is the headquarters for airborne, surface and subsurface platforms positioned worldwide, as well as satellites and buoys used to collect data from around the world. The group was briefed on how the information collected from the Center is used in oil spill recovery efforts, as well as hurricane preparedness, response and recovery.
Deepwater Horizon MC 252 Oil Spill, Richard Harrell, P.E., DEE, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (6 MB file size)
Northern Gulf Institute Response to the Deepwater Horizon Incident, Michael Carron, Ph.D., Director, Northern Gulf Institute (1.8 MB file size)
Restoration of the Mississippi Gulf Coast: Recovery from the Deepwater Horizon Spill, Richard Harrell, P.E., DEE, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (1.5 MB file size)
November 1, 2010
November 9, 2010
|Left to right: Senator Eliot Shapleigh, Texas; Senator David Wyatt, Arkansas; and Representative Karen Gaudet St. Germain, Louisiana|
November 11-12, 2010 | Dallas, Texas
Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation
A delegation of eight state legislators from Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, along with SLC staff, attended and provided speakers for the 3rd Americas 2020 Summit held on November 11-12, 2010, in Dallas, Texas. The Americas 2020 Summit brings together policymakers and transportation experts for presentations and discussions about expanding emerging trade corridors; improving mobility and security across international boundaries; and enhancing economic development and global competitiveness. The Americas 2020 Summit enables government and private sector stakeholders from the United States, Mexico and Canada to discuss and identify solutions to enhance the security and economic competitiveness of North America. The Summit also provides an opportunity to hear from expert panelists in the areas of border crossings, infrastructure competitiveness, and secure trade and manufacturing. Moreover, attendees are engaged in dynamic breakout sessions designed to promote dialogue and the identification of concrete solutions to establish a sustainable and competitive North America for the 21st Century. Click here for more information on the Americas 2020 Summit.
November 12, 2010
December 14, 2010