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Uruguayan energy unions participated in the third part of the Forum-Debate called “Social and Environmental Justice: implications of the mining-energy extractive model” held last August 20 in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo. Gabriel Soto, leader of the association of workers of UTE (state power utility) made reference to the changes that are taking place in the energy matrix of the country and talked about the risks these changes imply in terms of sovereignty loss.
“The regulatory framework of the electricity sector is the legal framework through which the energy matrix has been modified several times”. Based on these modifications, the unionist said that the framework has generated an indiscriminate energy race without discussing the use to be given to this energy: “We are not questioning why energy consumption has increased so much”.
In terms of the diversification of the energy matrix in Uruguay and the increase of the percentage of renewables, Soto said that this is a positive thing, but warned that the influence of private capitals is increasingly higher than that of public capitals and that the “logic of profit and the logic of service are antagonistic”. The leader believes “the political sovereignty of the country is being put at risk through the sale of energy resources”.
Another concern raised relates to the discussion about energy control and ownership: “in our opinion, both go hand in hand”. Currently, said Soto, the State is in charge of setting the prices but it is not certain whether in the future the private capital “will be in charge of establishing conditions and modifying the legal framework in order to impose their will”.
Imagen: Radio Mundo Real
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