Colombian Petroleum Industry Workers Union (USO) joins alliance to stop controversial fracking pilot projects

Published by Brent Patterson on

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The USO flag can be seen on the left in a recent protest against fracking in Puerto Wilches.

On April 6, Reuters reported: “Colombia’s largest oil union has joined anti-fracking activists to oppose the development of non-conventional energy deposits and demand a quicker transition to renewable energy, campaigners said on Tuesday.”

That article adds: “The Petroleum Industry Workers Union (USO) and the Colombia Free from Fracking Alliance said in a joint statement they are joining forces to protect the Magdalena Medio region and the country as a whole from non-conventional exploration.”

Union president Edwin Palma says: “The @usofrenteobrero officially enter @ColombiaNoFrack. It joins forces with different social and political organizations in the country to oppose this exploitation technique and advocates an accelerated just energy transition.”

Caracol Radio adds: “David Gómez of the National Board of Directors of the Workers’ Union, USO, said the alliance aims to reject this form of oil extraction that is detrimental to the environment. [Gómez also] pointed out that from now on they advance legal avenues of action and mobilizations to stop this technique of fracking pilots in Colombia.”

That article further reports: “The decision [by USO] was made by the Ecopetrol union after learning that the National Hydrocarbons Agency approved for ExxonMobil to carry out research projects in the municipality of Puerto Wilches.”

On March 31, the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) provisionally approved a proposal from ExxonMobil to develop its Platero fracking pilot project in the Magdalena Medio region. A licence is expected to be awarded to them on April 8.

We note with additional concern that Toronto-based Sintana Energy could be partnering with ExxonMobil in this fracking pilot project named Platero.

PBI-Canada is organizing a webinar to be held on Thursday April 29 at 3:30 pm ET (2:30 pm in Colombia) titled: Environmental defenders challenging extractivism in the Magdalena Medio. More details on this will be shared this Thursday.

Tweet from USO president Edwin Palma.

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