Confrontation between Petro and Robledo over the proposal to stop oil exploitation: “Do not insist, it would ruin the economy”

In the middle of the race for the country’s presidency, Gustavo Petro released a statement that has put him in the eye of the hurricane, by his political colleagues. According to Petro, should he become head of state, he would halt oil exploitation in Colombia. It was in an interview with the newspaper El Tiempo that he made that proposal and, since then, the debate around it has not stopped. On the morning of this Monday, November 22, Jorge Robledo, in addition to raising the points against what Petro declared, invited him to a public debate to discuss the matter.

“The first decision I am going to make is to stop contracting for oil exploration in Colombia. It is a clear message: we are moving towards a productive, non-extractivist economy (…) there will be a smooth, but safe and serious transition. It will be my clear message to all actors in society and the economy that we are starting another type of economy “The former mayor of Bogotá commented for that national newspaper. Criticism flooded the networks, there, they branded him a populist, David Barguil even came to compare him with the late former president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez. “Not even Hugo Chávez dared so much! We need those resources to fight poverty. Any other decision is immoral “. For him, the proposal is about ‘collective suicide’.

For Robledo, with whom Petro held the most recent debate on Twitter about his statements, the presidential candidate’s proposal is wrong and, furthermore, the only thing it would cause would be a collapse in the national economy. “When Gustavo Petro says ‘no’ to looking for oil and that there are reserves until 2034, he silences that for this it would be necessary to stop exporting, because otherwise the reserves do not reach until that date. And before he said that he will stop exporting. With this, the national economy would collapse (…) When he proposes to end coal exports because solar and wind energy can be produced in La Guajira, he creates a contradiction that does not exist. Because we can generate electricity with the sun and the wind and, in addition, export coal. Eye, Guajira and Cesar “He wrote in his account before starting a discussion thread with the leader of Colombia Humana.

Gustavo Petro and Jorge Robledo
Gustavo Petro and Jorge Robledo

As Robledo explained, Petro’s justifications for proposing a brake on oil exploitation are not exactly the solution to environmental problems, on the contrary, they would bring more difficulties and complications. “These measures would not reduce global warming, since what Colombia stops exporting will be exported by other countries and only 0.6% of the world’s Greenhouse Gases (GHG) is produced here”, He justified.

For Robledo, it is a great mistake by Petro to have applauded Duque for his ‘environmental demagoguery’ to justify Ecopetrol’s purchase of ISA. “Nothing changes the environment for this business and it did weaken Ecopetrol and progress was made in its privatization and that of ISA,” said Robledo and then invited the senator to take part in a public debate that would clarify the alternative issues surrounding the proposal raised by Petro before El Tiempo. “I look forward to this time that you allow the country to become illustrious and judge the positions”, he concluded.

Gustavo Petro, for his part, seems not to be changing his mind regarding his statements despite the multiple criticisms, on the contrary, he defended his point and gave more arguments to justify his initial premise. “I have said that the way to replace those currencies, those of 2019, not those of 2013 that we will not see again, is with tourism in the short term, and in the long term with the growth of agriculture, agribusiness and the industry (…) The condition for a jump in tourism in Colombia is Peace ”.

“Not only is it not feasible, it is irresponsible. It would end up affecting Colombians, impoverishing (…) That would mean that Colombia after five or six years would have to lose self-sufficiency and it would have to be importing oil and gas to meet the country’s needs. We would stop receiving very important income (…) Around 40% of the country’s exports continue to be from this industry ”, commented Francisco José Lloreda, president of the Colombian Association of Oil and Gas (ACPG), in testimonies collected by Blu Radio.

Jorge Robledo
Jorge Robledo

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