Saturday, January 21, 2006

Cuba and Venezuela: Good Energy News

In a time when even bullish energy analysts and George Bush acknowleges the looming crisis in oil reserves, and the notion of nationalization is becoming popular in Canada and even (mentioned) here in the US, one today must dig to find tangible progress for people. in Cuba and Venezuela state planning and mobilization efforts are showing the benefits of a State-led approach to other countries. This is why these 2 countries are really dispised, they give people "bad ideas" and higher expectations of government.

In Venezuela, (from Business Week) President Hugo Chavez said Friday that Venezuela expects to reap an additional US$1.5 billion (euro1.24 billion) this year in oil income with the return of 32 privately operated oil fields to state control. He said Friday those contracts allowed foreign companies to extract oil at US$4 (euro3.30) a barrel then sell it to the national oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, at US$20 (euro16.54). The contracts also required PDVSA to pay the related royalties. "Now this perverse mechanism is over," Chavez declared as he promised to divert the additional revenues from the mixed companies to social programs.

In Cuba, Fidel Castro announced that Cuba will be "blackout free" starting May 1st. This truly would be amazing as fits of mostly schedule blackouts have become a major problem the last 1 or 2 years, a result of aging infrastructure (that often can't be easily repaired because of the embargo) and mother nature (hurricanes). But an aggressive, sustainable plan has been worked out whereby solar and wind power, along with increased energy efficiency and new generators will make this annoyance history.

Meanwhile in the US, where our energy policy is written by the energy companies themselves, we seem suprised by $80 BILLION dollar profits and our inability to do anything constructive to help the poor make it through the winter in the Northeast or to step rising gas prices. Fortunately, Venezuela has announced plans to expand efforts to help the poor across the region cope.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The embargo. Fucking liar. Maybe it's the shit russian refineries that are obsolete. Why don't the buy parts from the british or the canadians or the mexicans or spanish or the french or the russians or anybody the fuck else. I din't know the US was the only place to buy parts. Just another fidel castro lie.

5:08 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

Anonymous, lets try to keep things family friendly...

You didn't call out any lies in my post. I said many plants and parts were obsolete (American and Russian). I said the embargo makes things harder and more expensive to fix. Every time they buy something from Europe (esp. with today's currency) it costs Cuba time and money (transportation/gas). Also, many world companies are now American owned and many just don't do business with Cuba because of Helms-Burton. Three bartered electrical generating plants were denied in 2005. But the main problem was that their system was designed for a time when oil was nearly free. Times have changed and Cuba is moving boldly forward with a model of efficiency and sustainability. Something that only a socialist country not in bed with the oil companies could do.

11:56 PM  

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