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Bolivia: The policy of “Gas for Sea” will continue to be a lever

Joaquín Lavin interviewed by Andrés Pérez González
Argenpress via Znet
In an exclusive interview, Bolivia’s powerful Hydrocarbons Minister contends that the recent visit of Joaquín Lavin (2) to La Paz “takes place in the context of constantly more frequent pronouncements in favour of a Bolivian route to the sea. He firmly asserts that his country “can indeed talk of having suffered decades of hostility” from Chile.

It is not easy to get to Evo Morales’ point man in the strategic area of energy. Not because he avoids journalists, since he worked as one for years, complementing that, certainly, with legal work and, in the 1990s, with his duties as a deputy for the Patriotic Conscience Party, a now defunct group of the nationalist Left.

He is hard to interview because he is responsible for setting in motion the first steps of the hydrocarbons nationalization plan, unexpectedkly decreed on May 1st by Morales, the former coca growers leader, now head of government in our neighbouring altiplano country.
(10 Aug 2006)

Renewable Energy Systems Wanted in Iraq

Rati Bishnoi,
The top U.S. military commander in western Iraq is requesting shipments of renewable energy systems in an attempt to reduce the time fuel convoys spend on roads where they are susceptible to attack from insurgents using roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades.

“To improve the security posture of the al-Anbar province of Iraq, [Multi-National Force-West] requires a renewable and self-sustainable energy solution to support forward operating bases, combat outposts and observation posts throughout MNF-W’s battlespace,” a Joint Staff Rapid Validation and Resourcing Request certified by MNF-W leaders states. Inside the Pentagon obtained a copy of the document.

Command officials certified the request on July 25 on behalf of Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer, the MNF-W chief. The request is categorized as a “priority 1” need.

In the document, the region’s U.S. military leaders call on the Pentagon to send more renewable energy systems to the country because they could leverage resources like sunlight or wind to produce power for bases and outposts. Commanders assert that tapping renewable energy sources would lessen dependence on fossil fuels — a move that could save lives.

“A proposed alternate solution — one that reduces the number of convoys while providing an additional capability to outlying bases — is to augment our use of fossil fuels with renewable energy, such as photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbines, at our outlying bases,” the request states. “By reducing the need for [petroleum-based fuels] at our outlying bases, we can decrease the frequency of logistics convoys on the road, thereby reducing the danger to our Marines, soldiers, and sailors.”
(11 Aug 2006)

Halting Iran nuclear program trumps oil price – Bodman

– Halting Iran’s nuclear ambitions is more important than preventing high crude oil prices, U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman said on Tuesday.

“We are as prepared as we can be” for a disruption of Iranian oil exports, Bodman told reporters. “As important as the price of oil is, (stopping Iranian nuclear enrichment is) more important than the price of oil.”
(8 Aug 2006)