You can read 9 more articles this month
ENVIRONMENTALISTS claimed victory today after Chile’s government rejected an $8 billion (£4.77bn) proposal to dam Patagonian rivers to meet the country’s growing energy demands.
A ministerial commission rejected the HidroAysen plan, which would have dammed two of the world’s wildest rivers and built more than 1,000 miles of power lines to supply energy to central Chile.
Chile’s ministers of agriculture, energy, mining, economy and health voted unanimously to reject the project.
The committee “decided to side with complaints presented by the community,” said Environment Minister Pablo Badenier. “As of now, the hydroelectric project has been rejected.”
The project would have built five dams on the Baker and Pascua rivers in Aysen, a mostly roadless region of southern Patagonia.
Patagonia Defence Council executive secretary Patricio Rodrigo called the decision “the greatest triumph of the environmental movement in Chile.”
It “marks a turning point, where an empowered public demands to be heard and to participate in the decisions that affect their environment and their lives,” Mr Rodrigo said.
HidroAysen executives had promised that the Aysen region would get cheaper energy, jobs, scholarships and millions in infrastructure, including seaports and airports.
But people’s opinions in the area remained divided.
Only about three dozen families would have had to have been relocated but the dams would have drowned 14,000 acres, required carving through forests and eliminating whitewater rapids and waterfalls.
They also could have destroyed habitat for the endangered southern huemul deer — fewer than 1,000 of the diminutive animals, a Chilean national symbol, are thought extant.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.