Colombia senator slams 'express' environmental licensing

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Colombia's recently announced plan to speed up environmental permitting for infrastructure and extractive industry projects is "irresponsible and damaging" to the nation, according to senator Jorge Robledo.

In a letter to Colombian officials, including President Juan Manuel Santos, Robledo of the left-wing Polo Democrático party said "express" project permitting was announced without consulting Colombian environmental regulator Anla and will infringe on the rights of local communities.

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Santos previously announced a plan to cut the environmental licensing process to five months in all sectors across Colombia. The plan follows complaints in multiple industries that environmental licensing causes lengthy project delays.

However, Robledo accused the plan of not requiring licensing for fracking and said the plan should be debated by the senate.

The senator's comments counter those of deputy energy minister Orlando Cabrales, who has been touting Colombia's fracking regulation as strict and responsible.

Robledo made headlines earlier this year as a strong critic of oil firm Pacific Rubiales and its heavy oil recovery technology STAR.

BNamericas will host its 11th Southern Cone Energy Summit in Lima, Peru, on November 12-13. Click here to download the agenda.