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Ask Obama to help Jamaica on oil - US congresswoman

Published:Wednesday | April 1, 2015 | 12:00 AMJanet Silvera

WESTERN BUREAU:

The reduction of foreign oil dependency and an increase in United States (US) investments and commerce are among the issues US Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney wants Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to delve into during her meeting with President Barack Obama next week.

The New York-based Democrat, who met privately with Simpson Miller in Montego Bay, St James, on Monday, says the Jamaican leader must ask for technical support to bring the country's high energy bill down.

"Under President Obama's tenure, we have cut our dependency on foreign oil by 40 per cent," Maloney stated in an interview with The Gleaner, noting that this was achieved through the use of solar energy.

"Jamaica is blessed with the sun, allowing it the capability to capitalise on renewable energy," she added.

Maloney is also convinced that there is immense potential for joint venture economic development with American investors.

"Both countries have had a long history of commerce and friendship," she pointed out, making reference to the large number of Jamaicans residing in the US.

According to her, the US's success has been bolstered by the private sector, because Government cannot do it alone.

Maloney, who last week joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) in reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would help close the wage gap between women and men working in the same jobs, says one of the most important things discussed with the Jamaican prime minister was the staging of an international conference for women.

Already, she has plans to have Simpson Miller meet with a number of women leaders during the United Nations Summit in the fall.

Women's issues such as domestic violence are among some of the topics she says she wants placed on the platform at the international conference for women.

"I would want Simpson Miller to co-chair this event," she revealed.

An extremely active no-nonsense politician, Carolyn Maloney was first elected to Congress in 1992. She is recognised as a national leader with extensive accomplishments on financial services, national security, the economy, and women's issues.

Maloney was here for a celebrity wedding on the weekend.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com