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Costa Rica’s Energy Independence: Renewable Energy

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You may recognize Costa Rica for its lush tropical rainforests and breathtaking beaches.

However, Costa Rica has been making headlines in recent years for a much different reason. Costa Rica has been a world leader in the realm of carbon neutrality for the last 7 years and running. Since 2014, it has been reported that Costa Rica has been running on over 98% renewable electricity sources, making it one of the “greenest” countries on the entire planet.

“Pura Vida”, meaning “pure life”, seems to be much more than just a national slogan to the people and institutions of Costa Rica.

4 Types of Renewable Energy in Costa Rica

Costa Rica uses 4 main types of renewable energy:

1. Hydroelectricity. Taking up the bulk of Costa Rica’s renewable energy efforts, hydropower makes up a whopping 67.5% of Costa Rica’s total renewable energy output. This can be attributed to the abundance of sprawling local water sources such as rivers and lakes that cover a large portion of Costa Rica’s landscape.

2. Wind Turbines. Comprising a total of 17% of renewable energy production, wind power has become another reliable source of energy in Costa Rica.

3. Geothermal Energy. Costa Rica has the added benefit of being able to produce a fair amount of geothermal energy due to dozens of active and inactive volcanoes that can be found throughout the region. Geothermal energy is now responsible for an estimated 14% of Costa Rica’s total renewable energy production. The North Volcanic Mountain Range in Guanacaste seems to be the region with the most potential for production as Costa Rica expands its efforts.

4. Biomass & Solar Panels. Biomass (natural plant/animal based material) and solar panels make up about 1% of Costa Rica’s renewable energy production. Based off of their location and sunlight, Costa Rica is an excellent candidate for expansion in the field of solar energy.

Costa Rica and Policy Regarding Renewable Energy

If you need any indication about how serious Costa Rica is with their transition to “going green”, please refer to some of their recent policy changes within the past decade.

Costa Rica is one of the most policy-friendly countries in the world regarding policy in relation to carbon neutrality.

Just recently approved to be built in 2019, Costa Rica has also approved three 50 MW geothermal power plants to begin production, ultimately costing $954 million to the republic. This is no small venture for a country consisting of just around 5 million individuals.

This shows the dedication and confidence that Costa Rica has in these (relatively) new power producing technologies. They aim to be completely carbon neutral by 2050. This is a feasible considering the 98% renewable energy electricity output, although rising infrastructure concerns (large cities being over-run with gas guzzling vehicles) may prove to hamper these efforts.

In November 2016, Costa Rica allied with a numerous amount of other developing countries most susceptible to changes in climate in signing on to the Marrakesh Communique. This pact, along with various other ramifications, requires signatories to aid in “greening our economies as our contribution towards achieving net carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy.”

In just the recent past, Costa Rica beat its own previous record of 299 days, reporting an incredible 300 days straight of providing power using renewable resources and renewable energy production.

According to a 2015 report, Costa Rica expects to maintain similar production (percentage-wise), but makes no clear claims as to further diversification of natural energy production.

Why does Costa Rica Use Renewable Energy?

As was already stated, Costa Rica has the advantage of being poised in a geographic location that has an abundance of renewable energy producing sources such as rivers, lakes, dams, and volcanoes. Costa Rica also receives a tremendous amount of rainfall per year, which serves to aid in the overall production of hydroelectricity.

In addition to its inherent geographic advantages, Costa Rican leaders have also figured out that it is much cheaper to produce energy using renewable sources than it is to continue relying on fossil fuels from other countries. A 2019 study conducted by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) found that Electricity costs could be reduced by 1 US cent per every kWh of power generation, thus cutting costs for the residents of Costa Rica. The Costa Rican Government claims that the country has saved over $500 million in the last 20 years alone by making the switch to these much cheaper means for energy production.

Costa Rica is also one of the few countries actually able to produce enough renewable energy to cover its almost 5 million residents, as a much larger country would have to create the infrastructure and capacity to cover many more individuals.

Costa Rica Energy Production Future Goals

In addition to being one of the world leaders in renewable energy production, Costa Rica continues to prove that it is one of the most progressive renewable energy policy makers, and are serious about their goal of carbon neutrality. The current Covid-19 pandemic has also attributed to the rise in renewable energy research in order to cut costs, and officials expect this trend to continue well into the next decade.

In 2021, Costa Rica continues in its efforts to remain carbon neutral, and promises that it will be able to produce over 99% of its energy production via renewable resource energy.

While 99% of the country’s electricity is already produced via renewable energy, the country still faces roadblocks to going green in other sectors of energy consumption. As of 2014, Costa Rica still had a fossil fuel consumption of just under 50% (of total energy production). A large percentage of this can be attributed to the transportation sector, comprising a whopping 66% of all hydrocarbon consumption and around 54% of total carbon dioxide emissions.

While this is a massive hiccup to tackle in Costa Rica’s goals for carbon neutrality, the President of the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) states that plans are already being set in motion to help combat this obstacle.

Plans and policies have been put in place to promote other forms of transportation such as walking and biking, with individuals being rewarded for doing so. The Costa Rican Government also aims to promote the adoption of a completely electric-powered rail system, as well as the production of more eco-friendly vehicles such as electric or biomass fueled cars and trucks.

Final Word

While there are significant obstacles in place, the future of Costa Rica is looking greener every day. While almost 100% of the electric being produced is now via renewable energy, we will see how Costa Rica progresses in the various other sectors carbon neutrality. As other countries eye the success of the country’s renewable energy plan in the midst of climate change, one can’t help but feel encouraged by how far Costa Rica come in the realm of renewable energy, and excited for how far they will go!

By Eric Smith

Source: Tico Times

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The Monsters Go for a Walk in Chile

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Today, regarding the constitutional process that is being developed in our country, the phrase of the philosopher and ideologist Antonio Gramsci comes to mind, who wrote that “the old world is dying; the new one takes time to appear, and in that dark glade the monsters appear ”.

 

Monsters that we do not know, that attract and frighten are walking around Chile. Monster refers to what arises against the rule or the natural, also to prodigious or supernatural creatures such as demons or geniuses. Monsters are sent from the gods. They arise from the unknown and incomprehensible to people and that is why with the limitations that we have as human beings we are seeing monsters in every corner and around every corner.

 

Next week will be two years since the social outbreak and the massive demonstrations in the main cities of the country that led to the signing of the Agreement for Social Peace and the New Constitution of November 15, 2019.

 

The political world established the thick lines of an institutional path and never imagined that he would not be in control of the process. Who would have thought that the Constituent Commission would be equal and with seats reserved for indigenous peoples or that the independents would become a force that would overshadow the militants of political parties or that its president would be a Mapuche woman whose first words were in Mapudungun and not in Spanish?

 

The old order dies and the new is not yet born. On this path, it is essential to be faithful to the value of democracy. The democratic process that we are carrying out has been exemplary with broad participation in political, ethnic, social and cultural diversity. The confusion and pain that the unknown produces is typical of change.

 

The new order will not be the same as the one we are leaving behind, because the new will be broader and more inclusive. Men will have a lot to learn and give in, especially those of us from Santiago and part of an endogamous oligarchy. Unfortunately, the educational system does not educate us to face change or the uncertainties of the future. We do not develop critical thinking and we eagerly seek to enter a comfort zone.

The system rewards established order and punishes curiosity and innovation. Therefore, the fear that the constituent process is causing is not surprising even more when some media and social networks exacerbate the fears. Our new order will be more inclusive because, as the British economist and political scientist, author of the book Why Do Countries Fail? “What is relevant here is that millions of people in Chile have been marginalized by opportunities, and that is changing.” We should not be afraid of the monsters that walk around Chile. Let us invite them to talk, share and dance because only then will we have a better country.

MarceloTrivell, Seed Foundation

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Sharing Surplus: An Ethic of Care

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A Call to Practice an Ethic of Care by Sharing Surplus

Bo Lind Knudsen
(Image by Bo Lind Knudsen)

Given the institutions that today´s dominant economic science and today´s prevailing common sense assume, sustainable good jobs for everybody, paid for by the wage funds created by the sale of products the employees contribute to making, will never happen. There will never come a day when there are enough employers finding it profitable to hire workers and pay them well to create sustainable good jobs for everyone who needs one.1

Consequently, in tomorrow´s functional world now being built from materials available in today´s dysfunctional world –speaking in terms of the flows of income identified by Adam Smith– satisfying basic needs and freeing people to pursue Maslow´s higher needs2 can only be completed (it can be taken part way by salaries paid from wage funds) by relying on transfers of surplus, typically from the non-wage flows of income Smith called profits and rents. Property income.

Surplus income, as distinct from most labour income, is still today typically profits and rents. Such income is a typical location where surplus, defined as discretionary income eligible to be transferred from where it is not needed to where it is needed, is often found. Whether or not some part of profit or rent is surplus, and how to use it, are matters for ethical deliberation.3 The deliberation has just begun, and is far from ending, when a given sum is classified as profit or rent. But since mere mortals cannot stand so much uncertainty and hard thinking, human cultures cut it short by practicing simple authoritative customs –determining for example which kin get which piece of meat when a hunter kills a deer. Modern societies (Weber´s Gesellschaften), organized principally by contracts and property rights,4 are customary too, but customary in a different way. They are basically organized by the property and contract rights (the institutional frame) that made possible Smith´s neat three-part division of income flows into wages, profits, and rents.

One can add to profits and rents twenty first century sources of surplus that Smith in the eighteenth century did not think of. One is the astronomical surpluses paid to powerful executives in a position to inflate their own compensation packages5. Another source is the small surpluses of middle- class people who retire on good pensions. There are many more, even though, as anyone who has reviewed her or his personal or family budget finds, there are no cut and dried simple rules defining what is and is not surplus available to be shared.

Taking a larger view, leaving the sphere of the science Smith founded altogether, one can consider all the ways a human being depends on other human beings (and on nature) for need-satisfaction, starting with the newborn´s first urge to suckle its mother´s milk.

It follows from Smith´s worldview that some people lose. They have no profits or rent because they own no income-producing property. They earn no wages because nobody hires them. In addition, mini businesses started with mini credits are never sufficient to turn all losers into winners because of lack of customers. And so on.6 The existence of losers that is a consequence of basic social structure has been going on for so long that it has come to be considered natural.

I find it morally intolerable not to aim for the inclusion of everybody in the benefits of social cooperation by means of sustainable good jobs for everybody or in some other way. It hardens hearts and poisons minds to take it for granted as a fact that there will be losers in the game of life. It implies not caring. It legitimates not caring as a moral norm.

That in life some win, and some lose was and is a “fact” unknown to those indigenous peoples whose social structures were and are organized by kinship7. It is a “fact” that was unknown in matristic societies before the rise of patriarchy.8 It was a “fact” that temporarily disappeared in Sweden and in Austria after World War II until globalization demoted social democracy from the status of humanity´s future to the status of a holding action slowing down the dismantling of yesterday´s welfare state in order to lower wages and taxes to levels compatible with being competitive in global markets.9

That some must lose is a “fact” created by the constitutive rules of market society, summarized by Darcia Narvaez as “competitive detachment”10 and by André Orléan as séparation marchande.11

Too many economists treat high growth, low inflation, and low unemployment as three measures of economic success, not always compatible with each other, so that it is necessary to accept less of one to get more of another. Too many economists settle for policies that deliberately create some unemployment because full employment would be inflationary, and because it would discourage growth by raising wages hence weakening the inducement to invest.

It might also be said that all economists teach that it is a fact that there are and must be losers in life, because any scholar who does not accept what Joseph Schumpeter called the institutional frame of economics –within which it can never be the case that there are enough employers who find it profitable to offer everybody who needs it steady employment at good wages-– is by definition not an economist.

This way of seeing the matter would place dissidents who study economics as critics more than as believers outside the camp of the economists. As long as we talk this way, they would not be true economists at all, because true economists believe and endorse the concepts that define their discipline. But we do not need to talk this way all the time. “Economist” would be far from being the only word that it is convenient to use in different senses in different contexts.

Sharing surplus, defined as moving resources from where they are not needed to where they are needed, is not a new idea. For Saint Thomas Aquinas writing in the thirteenth century –and echoed today by the teachings of Catholic and mainline Protestant churches—whatever you or I may own does not belong only to ourselves. It also belongs to whomever we are able to help with our surplus.12 Nor is it a forgotten idea. As we speak millions of people around the world are sharing –sharing money, time, expertise, food, clothing, and whatever they have and can spare—to help others.13 Governments and other large organizations also devote themselves to meeting needs because they are needs. Today, in 2021, I want to suggest that calling for renewed emphasis on this old and well-remembered idea has new meanings in the light of at least five contemporary game-changers:

Humankind´s number one existential challenge today is environmental, not social. If our species fails to reinvent itself to adapt to physical reality, the game will be over.
But environment and social justice cannot be separated, while neither can be separated from the systemic imperatives implied by the dynamic of accumulation that moves the system. The self-interest of powerful people who want to make money by making profitable investments, even when those same investments make doomsday more certain and more proximate, does not fully explain why solemn agreements to respect mother nature shrivel into dead letters time and time again. People want jobs. People need jobs. The system needs investments to keep going, while its basic structure implies a chronic tendency for investments (and jobs) to be too few.14

Existential crises call for objective reasoning and cooperation, and frequently crises call for self-sacrifice for the sake of the common good. But today, as in the 1930s, existential crises coincide with rising tides of unreasoning anger, shameless liars and manipulators, mass desperation, violence, and political insanity. So far, the recent political insanity that most threatens humanity´s future is in the United States. Mass desperation surfaces in behaviour like that of the economic migrants who crowd into leaky boats to cross illegally from North Africa to Italy, and in the behaviour of economic migrants who walk on foot from Honduras to the Mexico-United States border.

We have –or at least I would propose for discussion the thesis that we have—reached a point in history where nothing would better serve the objective interests of the rich than an end to poverty. Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, both epidemiologists, have assembled statistical data in support of a related thesis: high income people benefit from living in societies where wealth is relatively equally shared when such societies are compared to others where the gaps between haves and have-nots are extreme.15 How to end poverty, in one form or another, is regularly at the top of the agenda of the meetings of the World Social Forum and those of World Economic Forum. Nevertheless, the dynamics of the system in place continue to call for government policies (like tax exemptions and subsidies …etc.) guaranteeing high profits that exacerbate inequality, in order to attract capital and in order to avoid capital flight. Systemic imperatives often call for keeping wages low (and often for more violent forms of repression of labour) in order to keep the selling price of exports competitive in global markets.16 In the past it has often been a no-brainer to conclude that the system favours the rich and oppresses the poor. Getting used to the idea that at this point in history the apparent winners are in the last analysis losers too, requires escaping from mental models that fitted the past better than they fit the present. What the dynamics of competitive capital accumulation tend to force entrepreneurs and governments to do –we just saw an example in point two above, regarding environment vs. profits and jobs– does not equal what it is objectively in anybody´s best interest to do. This reflection leads to seeing educational and organizational paths to change that avoid drawing a certain common pessimistic conclusion. That pessimistic conclusion is: A modification of the system fundamental enough to make sustainable dignified livelihoods for all possible, and to make escaping ecological catastrophe possible, could only be achieved by violent revolutions; but violent revolutions with such aims are no longer possible; and if they were possible they would not be desirable.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted fundamental problems. A post-Covid-19 world may be a world where greater awareness of fundamental problems catalyses greater ability to solve them. One has already been mentioned. It is the insecurity of the rich caused by the continued existence of the poor, manifest for examples in criminal violence and in the spread of contagious diseases. A second is the insecurity of the poor, manifested in lack of access to medical care and lack of resources to fall back on when lockdowns stop normal economic activity. A third is a central issue for the future: Will the new technologies that multiply productivity beyond anything known in the past17 be the intellectual property of a few billionaires, entitled by law to live in luxury while ignoring the vital needs of everyone else? Or will the benefits of what used to be called ““universal labour” (advances in knowledge) be truly universal? These questions have been brought to a head by the conflict between the legal right of pharmaceutical companies to withhold vaccines from those who cannot pay, and their moral duty to use their surplus to help those in need. A fourth fundamental problem has been caused by the bogus neoliberal twin concepts of economic efficiency and free trade. When Covid-19 struck, the peoples of the world discovered to their dismay that they had lost self-sufficiency and resilience. “Efficiency” and “free trade” had made virtually every country in the world dependent on China for antibiotics, and on a few suppliers for computer chips. And so on. To meet many vital needs, the peoples of the world depended on long and complex supply chains over which they had no control. Covid-19 made it a priority to study the ways of life of indigenous ancestors who knew how to live on the land where they were located, and who were bonded one with another in kinship groups jointly responsible for each other´s welfare.18

Where do we go from here?

.

1 This claim is supported by detailed analysis and evidence in Howard Richards with Gavin Andersson, Economic Theory and Community Development. Lake Oswego OR: Dignity Press, 2021. For analysis see especially chapters three and four; for an empirical illustration chapter five. The claim is generally in accord with schools of thought that see a chronic insufficiency of good employment opportunities as a permanent consequence of the basic structure of the system, and not only as a temporary consequence of, e.g. being in a downturn of the business cycle, adjusting to new technologies, governments and unions that are not business-friendly, underdevelopment, or exogenous shocks. E.g. Harry Magdoff, and Paul Sweezy, The Deepening Crisis of US Capitalism. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1969.

2 While denying or modifying the notion that higher needs must await the satisfaction of lower needs, one can improve on economics considering Maslow´s short list of what human needs are: physiological, safety, belongness and love, esteem (dignity), self-actualization and self-transcendence. A.H. Maslow, A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, Volume 50 (1943) pp., 370-396.

3 See Dave Elder-Vass, Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

4 The classic account of how modern contract and property law grew out of earlier social forms in Europe is Sir Henry Maine´s Ancient Law. London: John Murray, 1861. For an account of how European institutions became global institutions see Maria Mies, Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale. London: Zed Books, 1998.

5 For examples see Andrew Sayer. Why We Can´t Afford the Rich. Bristol: Policy Press, 2015.

6 Kate Philip, Markets on the Margins: Mineworkers, Job Creation, & Enterprise Development. Woodbridge, United Kingdom: James Curry, 2018.

7 Wahinke Topa and Darcia Narvaez, Restoring the Kinship Worldview. Berkeley CA: North Atlantic Books, 2022.

8 Marija Gimbutas, The Language of the Goddess. London: Thames and Hudson, 2001.

9 Howard Richards with the assistance of Gavin Andersson, Economic Theory and Community Development. Lake Oswego OR: Dignity Press, 2021. Chapter Seven. Another way of looking at social democracy´s decline is to say that it proved to be incompatible with the neo-roman juridical framework that Max Weber identified in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft as a prerequisite for capitalism. Howard Richards and Joanna Swanger, The Dilemmas of Social Democracies. Lanham MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006. That framework established neo-Roman property rights and enforceable contracts. (Pacta sunt servanda). Globalization itself can be seen as made possible by the same basic legal principles, also called the same basic social structures, enforced on a global scale Howard Richards with David Faubion, Understanding the Global Economy. Santa Barbara CA: Peace Education Books, 2004. A new edition (2021) is available from Akhia Andersson.

10 https://sites.nd.edu/darcianarvaez/

11 André Orléan, L´Empire de la valeur: refonder l’économie. Paris: Seuil, 2011.

12 Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae. II II, Question 32, Article V, reply to second objection. (various editions)

13 People who practice caring and sharing report that they experience higher levels of happiness and health. See David Schroeder and William Graziano (editors), The Oxford Handbook of Prosocial Behaviour. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015; David Servan-Schreiber, Anticancer: A New Way of Life. New York: Viking, 2008.

14 “The weakness of the inducement to invest has been at all times the key to the economic problem.” John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. London: Macmillan, 1936 pp. 347-48.

15 Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level. London: Allen Lane, 2009.

16 Ellen Meiksins Wood, Empire of Capital. London: Verso, 2003.

17 Peter Diamandis and Stephen Kotler, Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think. New York: Free Press, 2012

18 Walter Mignolo and Catherine Walsh, On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Practices. Chapel Hill, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

Source: Pressenza

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“If there is gas collusion in Chile, then distribution should be done by a public company”: Sector workers

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Chile. “If there is gas collusion, then distribution should be done by a public company”: Sector workers

This post is also available in: Spanish

Patricio Tapia and Solange Bustos (Image by Andrés Figueroa Cornejo)

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), as well as Natural Gas (NG) is imported to Chile mainly from Argentina and the United States through the sea. It arrives in the country at two regasification plants: the one in Quintero and the one in Mejillones, where it is processed and introduced into cylinders for domestic consumption. However, only three companies monopolise gas distribution, of which Metrogas, owned by Gasco S.A., has more than half of the market.

By Andrés Figueroa Cornejo

After recently issuing a study of high social impact, the Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE) detected serious irregularities in the gas distribution industry, among whose assertions is that the retail price of each cylinder of liquefied gas should be 15% lower than the current one, and the price of natural gas paid by Metrogas users should be 20% cheaper.

The National Economic Prosecutor, Ricardo Riesco, said, “This study confirms that the gas market is not sufficiently competitive and our recommendations seek to change this situation as soon as possible for the benefit of consumers, because we are convinced that prices can be significantly lower in the future if regulation is adjusted”.

The Preliminary Report of its sixth Market Study, where the FNE addressed the gas market in Chile in the period between 2010 and 2020, focused on the social groups that use liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas.

To develop the study, the FNE collected unpublished data on the gas market in the country and was advised by academics Juan Pablo Montero, from the Catholic University of Chile, and Eduardo Saavedra, from the Alberto Hurtado University, as well as Oxford University economist Christopher Decker.

The FNE calculated that, due to the concentration of the LPG market, private wholesale distributors of this energy increased their annual profits by up to 55% more than those obtained in 2014, which is equivalent to US$ 261 million “extra” annual profits.

On the other hand, the Prosecutor’s Office detected that an exception contained in the last reform to the Gas Services Law, in June 2017, allowed Metrogas, through Agesa, a company not subject to regulation, to increase the price of its NG distribution service to consumers.

This resulted, since February 2017, in an increase of up to 20% in the price of residential natural gas paid by Metrogas customers, equivalent to US$ 87 million per year.

The case of Gasco S.A.

The Gasco corporation, harshly treated by the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office along with Lipigas and Abastible, and company that takes the majority share of the business, said that the proposal of the entity, “could end up seriously damaging the quality of service and also the price of gas in the country”, without offering any explanation of how and why it shot up prices.

On the other hand, Patricio Tapia Gómez and Solange Bustos, leaders of the Sindicato Nacional Interempresa de Trabajadores del Gas, were the ones who led the 21-day strike of the Gasco LPG Workers’ Union, from 19 December 2017 to 8 January 2018. It was a historic strike because it was the first and only one so far in the more than 160 years of existence of the company.

The president of the company, then and now, is Matías Pérez Cruz, a staunch pinochetista, anti-unionist, fan of the neo-fascist presidential candidate José Antonio Kast, and who became infamous on 6 February 2019 when a video went viral showing him expelling three women in an arrogant and violent manner from what he called “his garden”, on the shores of Lake Ranco.

Now, the leaders pointed out that, “Unlike the state’s public health system, when a person stops paying the gas bill, the company immediately shuts off the supply. What happens then? When private gas corporations cut off the gas for non-payment, they simply cease to be “strategic companies”. In other words, they lose their status as an “essential company” that provides a “basic service of public utility”. Where the market rules, there are no more “strategic basic services”, because in the case of gas, it is a product that only those who have the means to buy it can buy. Its supply is not guaranteed as a social right. Moreover, if someone cannot buy gas from a private company “A”, they can buy it from company “B”, because in Chile there is supposed to be free competition”.

Patricio Tapia and Solange Bustos, who come from Gasco, explained that, “Gasco is divided into two companies: Gasco S.A., which corresponds to the administrative body, and Gasco GLP, which is the operational or production part. Chile lacks its own gas to supply the domestic market. The productive part is the workers who mix the raw materials coming from abroad via ships arriving at the Quintero plant, fill the cylinders with this mixture, and distribute the cylinders to customers in trucks and vehicles. The cost of the gas that arrives at the port in frozen form, Gasco S.A. buys at a price infinitely lower than the gas it then sells to other firms and to consumers in general”.

The union representatives, given the situation of the collusion of gas prices, which operates as a true monopoly, indicated that they are preparing a proposal at the national level, “where they seriously study and according to the criteria of basic services as social rights, the establishment of a public company in the area that transfers specialised workers who today work for private companies in terrible conditions, to this eventual public industry; and that representatives of users’ committees, who can be elected and revocable, supervise any possible irregularities that may arise, always under the principle of the common good”.

Likewise, the leaders expressed that the Gasco company is a scandalous part of the gas collusion, as made visible by the investigation carried out by the FNE, exposing the illegal and fraudulent ways it uses to obtain its multi-million profits at the expense of the social majorities and consumers, in the midst of an unprecedented economic, social and health crisis. Likewise, the company headed by Pérez Cruz has made a large part of its profits by exploiting workers and systematically destroying trade union organisation, they said.

Tapia and Bustos said that after their historic strike, and as an exemplary punishment, the company took away the most important benefits they had won, such as “the Gas Workers’ Welfare Corporation (Cobegas), which had two funds: a pension fund that granted former employees a pension complementary to the legal pension, and a Medical Service Fund that functioned as Medical Insurance, which was not conditioned by pre-existing conditions, was not deductible and to which retirees could belong until their death and their widows could continue with the insurance”. They added that, “today, members who are Gasco workers are obliged to join the company’s complementary insurance, which does have deductibles and age limits, and some of its coverage is lower, and retirees cannot belong to it. The president of Cobegas, Lorena Matamala, who is a leader of Gasco’s Union 3, personally called on workers to switch to the company’s health insurance in order to exterminate Cobegas’ insurance. Both insurances were financed by a contribution from the company and a contribution from the worker-member. For example, the company contributed 1.4% of the taxable remuneration to the health insurance. All of this ended.

“Gasco’s anti-union practices add up to a whole chapter of infamy against the interests of the workers”, the leaders declared.

Source: Pressenza

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Mobilized TV on Free Speech TV  takes a deep look at our world, the consequences of human activity on our planet, and how we can reverse and prevent existing and future crises from occurring. Mobilized reveals life on our planet as a system of systems which all work together for the optimal health of the whole. The show delves into deep conversations with change-makers so people can clearly take concerted actions.

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Mobilized’s TV series Mobilized TV  premieres on Free Speech TV on Friday, October 15, 2021. All episodes appear:

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The overwhelming news being shoved down our throats on a daily basis is having a debilitating effect our our mental and emotional health. While many people seem to feel powerless, there are a lot of actions that people can take. Mobilized.news gives you a front row seat to the change that you can create in the world when we speak with Rob Moir, Executive Director of leading environmental organization, The Ocean River Institute.

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Architect Buckminster Fuller said “”Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerating system. IF we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success.” So how can builders, architects and people in the construction industries learn from nature’s design and create healthy living systems that actually work with the natural landscape and ecosystem instead of against it? Mobilized.news takes a deep dive in conversation with Nickson Otieno of Niko Green in Nairobi, Kenya.

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