A jump in fuel prices pushed the United States March retail prices index to its highest in twelve months, 0.6%. However the good news is that core inflation which excludes energy and food costs rose by 0.1%, down from 0.2% in February and 0.3% in January.
South American leaders meeting in Venezuela for the first regional energy summit agreed on Tuesday a declaration that includes traditional and alternative fuels, such as ethanol, plus the creation of the South American Energy Council to follow up hemispheric energy related agreements.
Chile could be one step closer to securing its energy supply if a new 800 million US dollars liquid natural gas (LNG) plant receives government approval. The Quintero plant (Region V) was initially designed with a capacity for 5.7 million cubic meter NLG, but has now been expanded to a 10 million cubic meters.
In a fire engine fuelled by Chilean chip fat, Mexican lard, Colombian palm oil, Argentine soybean and corn oil Seth Warren and Tyler Bradt completed last week the longest journey made without diesel or petrol.
The controversial Botnia-Orion pulp mill under construction in Uruguay and which has caused an escalating conflict with neighboring Argentina will cease all activities for 48 hours following the death of a welder assistant crushed Tuesday in a labor accident.
United States and Brazil invited El Salvador to become the pilot country for the production of ethanol thus helping to save on hydrocarbons, was confirmed in El Salvador by the country's president Elias Antonio Saca.
Residents from the Argentine province of Entre Rios and environmentalists begun Saturday an eight days coordinated blockade of all three accesses to neighboring Uruguay in protest for the construction of a pulp mill which they claim will cause irreparable damage to the environment.
Oil prices briefly surged above US$66 a barrel yesterday, driven to new six-month highs by the fear that strained relations between Iran and the West could put exports in jeopardy, as US gasoline inventories are declining and demand is strengthening.
Argentina took a step further Thursday in its diplomatic rift with the United Kingdom by announcing the creation of a register of oil companies which will not be allowed to operate on the mainland if engaged in exploration or any kind of production on the Falkland Islands.
Chile's presidential Palace La Moneda put out the red carpet this week for a quick official visit from Italy's Prime Minister Romano Prodi. During the day-long visit Prodi announced his country hoped to increase investment in Chile, especially in the renewable energy sector.