Development & Aid, Environment, Tierramerica - Ecobrief

Ecobreves – CHILE: Environmental Delays Raise Electricity Costs, Says Gov’t

SANTIAGO, Dec 26 2012 (IPS) - The Chilean government claims that delays in the installation of power lines due to legal proceedings and obstacles to the issuing of environmental permits will keep electricity prices high until at least 2016. Energy Minister Jorge Bunster declared that during the next four years “we will be facing restrictions in power transmission, which are leading to higher energy costs, greater vulnerability of the systems, and higher rates of service interruption.”

But the director of the Latin American Observatory of Environmental Conflicts, Lucio Cuenca, told Tierramérica that the minister’s statements merely reflect “the pressures exerted by the mining companies to obtain cheap energy, with no regard for the environmental or social impacts on the areas where the lines are installed.”

The situation in the country “demonstrates that people are not prepared to provide the mining companies with cheap energy at any cost, which is the reason behind the legal actions,” he added.

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