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The transition to clean energy is one of the main proposals of current President Gustavo Petro.
A transition to clean energy is one of the main goals of current President Gustavo Petro. Photo: Pexels

New bill to ban fracking in Colombia

On Wednesday, Aug. 11, several members of Colombia's Congress presented the bill for the fourth time in the hopes that it could finally become law.

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A new piece of legislation introduced in Colombia's legislature is intended to "prohibit in the national territory the exploration and production of unconventional reservoirs (NCY) and the use of the Multi-Stage Hydraulic Fracturing technique, known as Fracking, for the exploitation of hydrocarbons," according to the bill's text, which aims to force the government to "reformulate the public policy of energy transition."

Promoted by organizations such as Alianza Colombia Libre de Fracking, they are hopeful the new bill is the final death knell to fracking in the country. 

"At last, we see clearly that it will become a law of the Republic," said Andrés Gómez, one of the group's spokespersons.

On the other hand, Susana Muhamad, Minister of Environment assured in a press conference that "it is the first time in the four times that this project has been presented that there is an agreement of a broad sector, that there is an agreement with the national government and there is an agreement with the social movement."

The minister, a recognized environmentalist, has been a strong voice against fracking in the country, and it is why she committed to sign the bill that was a campaign promise.

"It is our commitment to work for a country that makes a social, economic and environmental transition to face the climate crisis." said the minister. "It is not logical that if we want to initiate an energy transition, we are going to deepen the dependence on fossil fuels with techniques of very high uncertainty of social and environmental impact."

The bill was presented by more than 80 congressmen from various parties and according to the Alliance, is "a proposal coherent with the demands of the citizens to avoid the dangers of the exploitation of unconventional deposits and fracking."

Previous proposals were also promoted by social organizations, however, they fell into oblivion due to the lack of a parliamentary commitment to promote and debate them.

The law will first have to be debated by a parliamentary commission, and from there it will have to be debated in two chambers before being approved and signed by the president.

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