Stemming the fund flow

Published: Tuesday 30 September 2003

The greens have scored a major point with regard to the Camisea natural gas project, to be sited in the pristine forests of Peru. Environmental objections have led the us Export-Import Bank to reject us $213.6 million in loan guarantees for the venture.

Conservationists have long contended that the gas project would threaten the Amazon tribes, the biologically diverse rainforest along the pipeline route and the marine reserve at Paracas. The authorities are keen to execute the project because it is said to have the potential to transform Peru from an importer of fuel to its exporter. Camisea has an estimated 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves and 500 million barrels of condensates.

It is noteworthy that Hunt Oil and Halliburton, the two Texas energy companies involved in the project, are said to be close to the George Bush administration. Commenting on the bank's decision, Jon Sohn, a Friends of the Earth activist, rejoiced: "With the exception of drilling in the Arctic refuge, this is the only resounding defeat for any component of the Bush energy plan that the environmental community has pulled off."

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