President Rodrigo Chaves has advocated for exploring the country’s potential oil and gas reserves, estimating they could be valued at up to $400 billion. He believes tapping into these resources could transform Costa Rica into a prosperous nation like Singapore.
“Some base their decisions strictly on ideology, devoid of data and comprehensive studies. Estimates indicate that the resources in Costa Rica could be worth up to $400 billion. We have the potential to mold Costa Rica into a nation resembling Singapore,” declared Chaves.
The president’s plan has received support from legislators like Fabricio Alvarado of the New Republic party and Pilar Cisneros of PPSD. Alvarado remarked, “The country should rationally and sustainably harness its natural resources, not only for development and welfare but also to invest in the environmental protection efforts that have earned us global admiration.”
Cisneros suggested Costa Rica should follow the model of Norway, which she described as “the second-largest producer of natural gas in the world and also lauded for its commitment to environmental preservation.”
However, the proposal has been met with staunch opposition from many legislators across four political factions. They argue Costa Rica should focus on cultivating eco-friendly energy sources rather than deviating from global trends, which could damage the country’s reputation and provide no guarantees of profitability.
“Currently, the energy strategies of developed nations lean towards sustainable generation. Instead of entertaining implausible notions, our government should champion a green energy matrix to magnetize more investments. This approach not only augments employment and wealth but also paves the way for reduced tariffs,” stated Kattia Cambronero of the PLP.
Daniela Rojas of PUSC also dissented, saying, “Initiating gas exploitation involves lengthy processes before tangible results manifest. Furthermore, we don’t possess the requisite infrastructure for refining, which would either escalate costs or compel us to delegate this responsibility to a private entity. Currently, our strength lies in our diverse and renewable electricity matrix; our priority should be its enhancement.”
The Frente Amplio party is advancing legislation to designate Costa Rica as a region exempt from gas and oil exploitation.
This controversial proposal has sparked a national debate. Supporters believe tapping potential gas and oil reserves could provide an economic boon, while opponents argue Costa Rica would be better served investing in renewable energy to maintain its environmentalist reputation. The path forward remains uncertain as both sides make their case to lawmakers and the public.