Petróleo y agua


Alfonso Conde

A menudo se plantea hoy, en distintas regiones, la contradicción entre la preservación del agua para uso humano directo o indirecto, y la explotación de la principal fuente energética de uso actual en Colombia y en el mundo. A ello se une que a la región objeto de exploración y explotación petrolera, en las condiciones actuales, le queda sólo el residuo contaminante, el desplazamiento y la degradación del nivel de vida mientras que los dueños del negocio arrasan con la riqueza producida. Las consultas populares, que ya se acercan al medio centenar contra la industria petrolera, son manifestación evidente del descontento de las comunidades frente a las circunstancias antes mencionadas.

Iniciamos el comentario con lo evidente: las “fábricas” de agua, vale decir los páramos, tienen que estar protegidas frente a cualquier explotación minera. Asimismo las zonas de conservación de la diversidad biológica, como los parques naturales. Sobre el resto del territorio es conveniente y necesario el balance concreto.

Otro elemento evidente es que, en las condiciones actuales impuestas principalmente durante el gobierno de Uribe que incrementó sin medida los beneficios para el explotador privado, la participación del estado colombiano en la renta petrolera es hoy inferior a la de 1921 cuando en el campo de La Cira se inició la explotación petrolera en Colombia. El llamado “State take” (fracción del valor apropiado por la nación) ahora limitado para nuevos contratos a las regalías (drásticamente disminuidas por el gobierno Uribe) y los impuestos (casi inexistentes para “atraer” al capitalista extranjero) pasó de un intervalo entre 77% y 94% (CGR) a finales del 90 hasta menos de un 42% en la actualidad, lejos del promedio global (67%). A ello se une la centralización de las regalías que aleja los supuestos beneficios del negocio de la región explotada. En esas condiciones el rechazo de las comunidades es perfectamente explicable.

Es evidente que el modelo minero energético está en crisis. La política petrolera adelantada especialmente por los últimos gobiernos ha sido la causa del descalabro que se presenta cuando el autoabastecimiento se encuentra en peligro. Colombia necesita los energéticos pero se requieren con urgencia cambios que garanticen el beneficio real nacional y la sostenibilidad y beneficio regional. Lo anterior exige, entre muchos otros elementos, el incremento del “state take” por medio del incremento de los impuestos y las regalías y la restitución del modelo de contratos de asociación que obligue al extranjero a darle participación a la empresa nacional Ecopetrol en sus negocios en nuestro territorio. El uso prioritario de las regalías incrementadas deberá destinarse a la región productora para paliar su deterioro.

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