Environmentalists in Chile Win Victory over Dam Builders
In June of this year, permits for the project were overturned due to a fervent opposition from the Chilean public, even though the documents had previously been approved in 2011.
Critics of the dams argue that flooding the lands of Patagonia would jeopardize many aspects of Chilean life in the area, including the culture, tourism, and the natural wilderness, merely for the sake of hydroelectric power. Environmentalists in the country view the triumph against the dams as a turning point in their ability to sway public opinion and exact social and environmental change.
While the decision does represent a victory for the people of Chile on the environmental front, supporters of the dams point out that the 2,750 megawatts of energy produced from the dams would have accounted for up to 20 percent of energy needs in all of Chile, and at a time when energy resources like fossil fuels have begun to dry up.