San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
There won't be oil

Costa Rica extends ban on petroleum extraction

President Luis Guillermo Solís extended the country’s ban on petroleum exploration and extraction until 2021 as well as adding guidelines for energy efficiency in government agencies.

Solís signed the bill on Friday, before attending the 190th anniversary festival of the annexation of the Partido de Nicoya. The extension continues a moratorium signed by former President Laura Chinchilla in 2011, which tasked the Environment Ministry (MINAE) with enforcing the ban. The original law cited Costa Ricans’ constitutional right to a healthy environment as its authority. The moratorium called for an updated cost-benefit analysis of petroleum extraction, citing risks like the 2010 BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Chinchilla’s moratorium was set to expire in August.

Environment Minister Edgar Gutiérrez said the ministry also will now oversee a prohibition on government purchasing of equipment, lights and appliances that consume high amounts of electricity.

“It is the obligation of all the administration’s institutions to create and execute the Institutional Environmental Management Programs,” Guitérrez said, referring to government initiatives that aim to foster a healthier environment, cleaner energy and climate change mitigation.

Although Costa Rica does not extract petroleum, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the country still burns oil for electricity. In 2011, the most recent year available, the country generated 8.8 percent of its electricity from oil. Most of Costa Rica’s energy comes from renewable sources, but the country also must rely on hydrocarbons, particularly late into the dry season, when hydroelectricity production is at its lowest.

In the transport sector, gasoline prices have reached record highs in Costa Rica, with some politicians calling on the country to join Venezuela’s oil-sharing scheme Petrocaribe. Solís expressed reticence over that proposal at a press conference last week, saying that cheap gas is not a priority in his administration.

Contact Corey Kane at ckane@ticotimes.net5

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Rick Nelson

Precisely Bruce, it sure seems immoral that the Gov’t officials provoking the high cost of fuel get free gas & diesel paid by the very people they are condemning to poverty and misery! These officials also have private security so why worry about the increased crime, they have access to outrageous pensions so why worry about unemployment?

As if he had just achieved an awesome patriotic deed by screwing his country and economy, Solis ties it to the Independence hero / date of Juan Santamaria! Assuring poverty well beyond his term.

I wonder if such ignorant decrees have anything to do with the near-extinction of Expats and the dwindling tourism industry? Or the Companies are fleeing to more affordable energy countries? You bet!

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Good on Prez. Solis for not bowing to the corporate rapers that ecologically destroy and grab the profit in exchange for a few bottom feeder jobs as the oil barons bring inTheir own top wage earners at the top end positions.
While USA prices subsidized by every other western country remain relatively low in comparison will soon enough have to feel the pressure to bring fuel price to world price level as US economy can ill afford to continue to subsidize the Bush family cohorts such as the billionaire Koch Bros.
Whining about world economic practices that are destined to collapse as the global climate change factors continue to be ignored as part of economic over all picture of a gluttonous oil nations’ production and use.
The downside is more and more environmental refugees

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Mr. Solis has shown that his life time career as an academic and bureaucrat have given him little understanding of how the economy works, how jobs are created, and purchasing power.

Energy is part of a countries infrastructure. Costa Rica’s gas prices are almost twice as high as in the USA and electricity prices are three times the average cost in the USA.

The average purchasing power of a Tico is at best 25 % of what it is in the USA but they are expected to pay more than double for the same energy ? This is equitable?

Poor infrastructure and high energy cost are not a recipe for increased foreign investment and job creation.

Refusing to allow preliminary exploration for oil and natural gas in Guanacaste, which is a poor province e with high unemployment and low education is just plain stupid.

Mr. Solis, Costa Rica is not a green country. All the rivers that run through your capitol city are polluted ,filledwith sewage and runoff. The ridiculous tariffs on imported cars, ( all cars here are imported) has created a distorted car market where new cars are 40 % higher than in Panama or the USA. The majority of the cars on the market are very old and more prone to pollute and not be fuel efficient. This is green?

Wake up! Costa Rica has been surpassed by Panama in GDP per capita. The interest on the national debt is 42 % of the governments budget. The government debt is soon to be rated as Junk quality.

A mini natural gas and oil boom if done correctly would be a huge economic stimulus for Costa Rica. France is the largest producers of nuclear power in the world , and their tourism is just fine.

Bruce Hubert
Playa Tamarindo

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