Energy News  





. Analysis: Crunch time for Bolivian gas

by Carmen Gentile
Miami (UPI) Jan 9, 2008
Bolivian President Evo Morales faces an uphill battle to keep his nation whole as several eastern provinces, which hold the country's lucrative gas reserves, are balking at his constitutional reform proposals.

Among the proposals being put forward by Morales -- Bolivia's first indigenous leader -- is a more equal distribution of the country's revenue from natural gas by giving the central government greater control of the Bolivian economy.

The proposal, in part, prompted four of Bolivia's nine provinces -- Beni, Pando, Terija and Santa Cruz -- to issue a statement of autonomy last month ahead of key meetings among provincial leaders and Morales that began Monday.

"The people want us to stay together," Morales said Tuesday. "Let's work together to resolve our differences."

That could prove more challenging than Morales and his allies are willing to admit, however, since the dispute over the gas issue in Bolivia has already, at least in part, led to the ousting of two presidents in the last few years.

In 2003 President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada suggested Bolivia sell its natural gas to its neighbor and long-standing rival Chile. The announcement spurred widespread violence that left dozens dead.

Bolivia's historical animosity toward Chile, according to Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Relations, "is of course part of the eternal flame of Bolivian foreign policy."

During the protests, Goni, as de Lozada was called, attempted to pull Bolivia back from the brink by calling for a national referendum on the gas issue. The move proved too little, too late, as it was rejected by the opposition and former allies, who quickly abandoned the president.

Goni assured the nation the gas deal would be a boon to the country, but Bolivian protesters were skeptical, believing rampant corruption would prevent any benefits from trickling down to the majority. In 2004 Bolivians voted in a national referendum to forbid the sale of their gas to Chile.

The gas issue was also eventually the undoing of his successor, Carlos Mesa.

In June 2005 the Bolivian leader faced a round of violent protests over how the gas revenue was being spent. Mesa eventually stepped down, opening the door for Morales' eventual victory and decision to nationalize the gas industry.

Now it appears that even Morales' support among Bolivia's poor indigenous majority can't keep the nation from fracturing further.

A national referendum is scheduled for this year on whether the constitutional reforms, including the gas revenue distribution proposal, should go into effect.

If defeated, it could open the door to another referendum already being plotted by Morales opponents: a vote on whether he should remain in office.

The Bolivian president must in the coming days discover an agreeable middle ground for the culturally and economically divided eastern and western provinces on the gas issue or face the very real possibly that his administration will face a fate similar to his predecessors.

(e-mail: energy@upi.com)

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Iran And Pakistan To Sign Peace Pipeline Deal
Washington (UPI) Jan 7, 2008
Iran's ambassador to Pakistan said Jan. 25 is the date the two sides will sign the so-called peace pipeline, a multibillion-dollar project to send Iranian natural gas to Pakistan. There are mixed reports on Iraq's resumption of oil exports to Turkey, which were shut last week because of full storage tanks, not security impediments. Colombia's state-owned oil company Ecopetrol and the Vancouver-based Petro Rubiales Energy Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to pipe heavy oil from the Rubiales and Piriri fields in Meta, Colombia. The 217-mile pipeline of India's largest refiner, Indian Oil Corp., will be sending crude from Paradip to Haldia within three to four weeks.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Sustainable Fuel For Road, Rail, Air And Sea Transport
  • China poised to be world leader in renewable energy, expert predicts
  • Analysis: Crunch time for Bolivian gas
  • Northrop Grumman Wins Orders To Upgrade Navigation Systems For Shell Liquefied Natural Gas Carriers

  • Groups lobby for restrictions on US-India nuclear deal
  • Spain's PM vows to reduce country's nuclear energy dependence
  • Outside View: Russia's Iran nuke role
  • Russia delivers more nuclear fuel to Iran: official

  • New Model Revises Estimates Of Terrestrial Carbon Dioxide Uptake
  • A Breathable Earth
  • Researchers Find Origin Of Breathable Atmosphere Half A Billion Years Ago
  • Study Reveals Lakes A Major Source Of Prehistoric Methane

  • No Convincing Evidence For Decline In Tropical Forests
  • Carbon Sink Capacity In Northern Forests Reduced By Global Warming
  • Indonesia: President urges better forest management amid floods
  • Mexico planted 250 million trees in 2007: Calderon

  • Overgrazing Accelerating Soil Erosion In Northern Mexico
  • Australia looks to GM crops after scorching 2007
  • Fisheries Should Be Regarded As A Part Of The Maritime Environment
  • China's Agricultural Bank ready for bailout: officials

  • Automobile's future is electronic and green: GM chief
  • Ames Laboratory Is Beefing Up Magnets For Electric-Drive Cars
  • Smart cars will watch roads while drivers' minds drift
  • Greenpeace calls for curbs on India's car emissions

  • Purdue Wind Tunnel Key For Hypersonic Vehicles And Future Space Planes
  • Antarctic ballooning hits milestone
  • Chinese major aircraft makers to build big planes: report
  • Dutch cops to ditch helicopters for airships in green bid: agency

  • Nuclear Power In Space - Part 2
  • Outside View: Nuclear future in space
  • Nuclear Power In Space

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement