Costa Rican National Assembly Revives Initiative to Ban Oil and Natural Gas Exploitation

    Environment Commission positively ruled the bill that now goes to plenary

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    After at the beginning of December 2021 the deputies of the factions of the Christian Social Unity (PUSC), National Restoration (PRN), National Integration (PIN), Christian Social Republican (PRSC) and the independent block of the New Republic, with their negative votes will bury a bill to prohibit the exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas in the country.

    This past Monday the Environment Commission of Congress ruled on a new text that had been presented by the National Liberation Party (PLN) caucus. This is file 22,819, which counted the unanimous positive vote in said commission.

    The liberationist deputy Paola Valladares assured that they will promote the initiative in the plenary with the same impetus with which the previous project was processed.

    Defense of the environment

    “The defense of the environment must continue to be the flag that the country holds high that sends a message to the world as a leader in sustainability and a pioneer in the protection of peace and nature,” she added.

    It must be remembered that the PLN had conditioned its support for the previous file on Recope being removed from a new role that the Government wanted to give it for clean energy research. Although this change was made so that the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) would assume this role, the initiative did not have the necessary support.

    The Frente Amplio party representative, José María Villalta, lamented the false vision of the fractions that did not support the first initiative and recalled that with this project the hydrocarbons law is repealed, which is “harmful to the public interest”, since, according to what he said, it gives away to foreign companies natural resources, endangering water sources and biodiversity.

    “We want to concentrate the scarce resources of the Costa Rican State and the efforts of our institutions to look to the future, renouncing the uncertain and delayed exploitation of fossil fuels and seek to be pioneers in alternative and clean energies,” Villalta said. The New Republic independents have already announced that they will block the initiative with several motions.

    Reform to the Minae

    The dictated project transforms the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mines, to the Ministry of Environment and Energy, and will be the rector of the sector of natural resources, energy, fuels and mines.

    This Ministry will dictate the policy on storage, distribution, transportation and marketing of fossil fuels, alternatives from renewable energies or biofuels, respecting the guidelines of the National Development Plan and the National Energy Plan. Likewise, this Ministry will be in charge of the administration, vigilance, control and supervision of the activities related to the subject matter of this law. The initiative has the signature of 24 deputies, 11 of them from the PLN caucus, which is made up of 17 congressmen.

    Resonance Costa Rica

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