Mar del Plata (Agenzia Fides) - "The bishopric of Mar del Plata expresses its concern about the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons on our coasts. We understand the imperative to exploit natural resources, in an area as important as energy, and need to attract investments that will promote the economic development of the country. However, we cannot fail to express our concern in front of such a sensitive subject in terms of impact on the environment and integral development". The statement released by the Bishopric of Mar del Plata on January 6 dwells on the approval by the government of Alberto Fernández of Decree 900/2021, which authorizes oil exploitation on the coast of Mar del Plata. The news sparked widespread protests from environmental groups and politicians, who spoke mostly on social media.
The document from the episcopate of Mar del Plata,
sent to Fides, asks whether the "environmental impact" of the operation has been "sufficiently assessed": the risks of oil spills, the negative consequences on drinking water, the danger to the survival of several animal species, effects on the fishing industry and tourism.
Quoting Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato Sì, the declaration continues: "The responsibility for the maintenance of the Common Home urgently requires the implementation of public policies in matters of energy, both in the exploration phases that of exploitation, which take into account a genuine integral development. A project of this nature, which will undoubtedly have an impact on the environment, must be "inserted from the beginning, and developed in an interdisciplinary, transparent and independent way. from any economic or political pressure" (LS 183). On these issues, it is of the utmost importance to reach the consensus between the different social sectors, giving a privileged place to the local inhabitants who will be the direct beneficiaries or the affected people". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 7/1/2022)