Southern Cone energy crisis will hit regional integration
Even if the government of President Néstor Kirchner denies that Argentina is suffering from an energy crisis, some newspapers like Clarín are forecasting that the crisis will last to the end of September.
Whether the government wants to admit or not that Argentina is suffering from an energy crisis isn’t the point. Any sensible analyst could tell from 2004 that the situation is untenable.
How are you going to fuel economic growth and not invest in proving up reserves and new infrastrcture like pipelines? It’s like driving a car on a freeway blindfolded.
A sign that matters are getting exceptionally worse is an annoucement by Chile’s Energy Minister Marcelo Tokman, who announced that the government will launch soon an energy savings plan that will be in force till 2010
The announcement is significant since it’s the first time the government of Michelle Bachelet has revealed such a plan. The last time a government made such a revelation was during the energy crisis of 1998-99.
One of the interesting questions that the energy crisis will leave Southern Cone countries like Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia is the blow it will have on regional integration.
Will Chile ever allow itself to be so dependent on another country for gas? What about Brazil and its gas imports from Bolivia? Uruguay?
The impact will be far-reaching and long-term.