Gustavo Lopetegui: “The best energy policy for Argentina is to have macroeconomic stability”

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Mauricio Macri’s former energy secretary, Gustavo Lopetegui, assured today that “the best energy policy for Argentina is have macroeconomic stabilityAnd he added: “If I had to choose one thing, I would choose that, otherwise it is to go on”.

Lopetegui argued that there must be prices linked to international referenceswhich should not be total or immediate, but “there cannot be the differences that we have”.

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“We invent patches, which we now want to attract to generate electricity, we give them a 14-year contract, we created the hostage pricethose we hold hostage we pay them in pesos what we want and those we want to attract we pay them in dollars, all governments have done so, “he summed up.

The former official said that in the current energy system they are all patchwork and that with this system you can’t get anywhere. “We have to have long-term hard currency contracts, if we don’t have them we won’t be able to develop gas production or export anywhere,” he said.

The former official stressed that the two most heartfelt words during the cycle panels “are potential and opportunity” in relation to Vaca Muerta, but warned that “it’s a lot of numbers that stun the mind, but the amounts are a distraction.”

“The question that arises is why we don’t take advantage of it or why in such a small dose,” he insisted.

For Lopetegui, in addition to macroeconomic stability and prices linked to international references, the execution of “long-term contracts in hard currency” will be fundamental.

If we don’t have long-term hard currency contracts, we won’t develop the production and export of gas everywhere. Neither in Brazil nor in Chile. This has been the case and the rules of that mass of capital we need are these. We can say that we can’t do them or we don’t like them, so we won’t have the development of that potential, “she added.

In another segment of his participation, Lopetegui referred to the removal of subsidies for electricity and gas tariffs and congratulated the government.

“I congratulate the government for begin to abandon the liquefaction of rates. It’s not that they haven’t increased, they have liquefied for two and a half years, “she said with some irony.

And he continued with the compliments: “I also congratulate you for the start of the construction of the gas pipeline (Néstor Kirchner) which is a fundamental work for the development of the sector.

He also referred to “clear rules” to achieve the development of the energy sector, but doubled: “Obviously we need clear rules but in addition to being clear they must be goodbecause if they are very clear and bad they are super effective, but as we have done and fought against capital in 40 years, with clear and bad rules “, he launched with more irony.

Lopetegui was Secretary of Energy of the Nation between 2018 and 2019. Previously, he was Deputy Chief of Staff of the Nation (2015-2018) and Minister of Production of the province of Buenos Aires (2004-2005).

In his private sphere he was a consultant for McKinsey & Company in Spain, Portugal, the United States, Brazil and Argentina, from 1986 to 1996. He founded the Eki convenience store chain in 1997, and the Pampa cheese producer in the province of Santa Fe. Since 2009 he has been CEO of the airline LAN Argentina.

The answers of Arcioni and Gutiérrez

The governors of Chubut and Neuquén, respectively Mariano Arcioni and Omar Gutiérrez, met with Lopetegui and stressed that, beyond the harsh diagnosis of the current crisis, they prefer an optimistic vision of the future.

“We look to the future and we look forward, because if we come to make an analysis of everything that has happened, all of us, all of us have a grain of guilt”, Arcioni launched.

In turn, Gutiérrez also responded to the statements of the former Secretary of Energy by acknowledging that if there was “stability” “investments will fly” but that it is not obtained “overnight”.

“Of course, if Argentina had economic stability, investments will fly, but we don’t have macroeconomic stability. It’s not overnight, it’s a process of perseverance. We have to move forward,” he said.

Source: Clarin

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