Saturday, October 13, 2007

The guy is totally f@#&ing nuts 

As we've seen before, Chavez is totally out of his mind, save for when what he does makes perfect sense, which does seem to be the case an abnormally high percentage of the time.

But there are things that really do make you realize the guy has lost his marbles. For example, I've never really written about it but the guy has always been talking about building a natural gas pipeline from Venezuela south to Brazil and Argentina. I've never written about it because it would be hugely expensive, environmentaly iffy, and, like, why the fuck would the rest of South American need Venezuelan natural gas anyways.

Well, after picking up this mornings newspaper I realized maybe I need to do some re-thinking of this. From the New York Times:

Energy Crunch Threatens South American Nations

SANTIAGO, Chile — For Chile and Argentina, it was the frostiest of winters, and not just the reading on the thermometer.

During one of the coldest South American winters here in decades, neighboring Argentina cut at least 90 percent of the natural gas it sends to Chile 79 times along pipelines that connect the two countries.

Power plants and factories in this smoggy capital were forced to switch to diesel and fuel oil, which belch more air pollution and have nearly quadrupled the cost of producing electricity. Santiago reported its highest number of dangerous smog days in the past seven years.

Argentina’s actions have chilled relations between the two countries. But the impact of South America’s energy crisis is far broader. Across the region, concerns about energy are roiling national politics, generating tensions between neighbors and emerging as one of the biggest brakes to growth and integration.

Energy is the Achilles’ heel of the governments in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, which are struggling to maintain sufficient natural gas supplies after several years of strong economic growth.

“Bottlenecks in energy supply will be a critical policy concern in Latin America over the next two to five years,” said Christopher Garman, the Latin America director at Eurasia Group, a New York-based consulting firm.

Energy concerns are at the top of the agenda for the region’s incumbent leaders, most of whom have high popularity ratings, thanks mostly to buoyant economies riding a wave of higher commodity prices.

But the steady economic growth has only increased energy demand, while governments have failed for a decade to invest enough in natural gas exploration and new power plants to expand their energy supplies.

Fortunately, they never brought up Chavez nor his silly pipeline proposal in the article. The last thing anyone should be doing at this point is make the guy look like he has good ideas.


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