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Institute for Policy Studies

Report Info

  • Released October 30, 2003
Sustainable Energy and Economy Network » Report

Pillars of Power

How the free trade agenda promotes dirty energy.

This report demonstrates how the Bush/Cheney administration (and its corporate backers), international financial institutions like the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, and multilateral free trade agreements like the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), together promote a corporate driven, anti-environment energy agenda in Latin America and elsewhere.

Not surprisingly, Latin America is rich in energy resources: it trails only the Middle East in proven oil reserves; holds five percent of global gas reserves; and has enough coal to last for another 300 years. While oil supplies are expected to decline among OECD countries, including the U.S., they are expected to increase in Latin America at a higher rate than any other part of the world. If left unabated, the pillars that uphold this dirty energy agenda will continue their drive to access and exploit these resources, seriously undermining efforts to achieve a clean energy future.