Climate Shifts Contribute To Serious Electric Power & Water Shortages For Venezuela

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Image credit:USDOE

Venezuela is a major exporter of oil to the USA, and large trading partner with the US State of Florida, itself highly reliant on burning oil to generate electricity (an oddity among US states). A changing climate in Venezuela - resulting in loss of hydroelectric capacity - could mean bad news for Florida, as Venezuela may have to burn more of it's own oil production simply to meet its own demand for electricity. Of course, Chavez blames the lack of rain, and the resulting fall off in power output, on 'EL Nino' (none of that climate change talk from a major oil producer); but, the fact remains they are in deep trouble with continuing drought.
From Reuters:

Venezuela mostly depends on hydroelectricity for its power and has been hard hit by a drought Chavez blames on the El Nino weather phenomenon.

"The rationing is at a national level and is for four hours every 48 hours," said Javier Alvarado, president of the Caracas Electricity corporation, which was nationalized in 2007 and previously belonged to U.S. company AES.

One of the cities to be hit by the new electricity rationing is Maracaibo, the country's second largest town and the capital of oil heartland Zulia.

Uuuh oh. If the power is out in the Venezuelan oil capitol, they won't be able to pump or refine. Downward spiral time.

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