Thursday 29 September 2022

Recope’s Plan For Ethanol Faces Appeals and Objection From Politicians

Five appeals have been filed with the Constitutional Court, while opposition party calls for accounts

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29 September 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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The plan by the State refinery RECOPE to replace super gasoline with an ethanol mix called Eco95 starting at the end of May faces appeals before the Constitutional Court or Sala IV and objection from opposition political parties.

On Monday, the press office of the Sala IV confirmed the receipt of a ‘recurso de amparo’ (writ) filed by Erick Mirando Picado, Félix Miranda Quesada and Jadiel Quesada Monge, private vehicle owners.

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In addition, former libertarian legislator, Natalia Díaz, and the PUSC party legislator Pedro Muñoz, have filed writs.

According to the vehicle owners, Recope’s decision to incorporate ethanol into super gasoline can cause “considerable damage to the vehicles that use it, as it has been recognized by the same officials of the refinery”.

In their filing, the explain, Recope cannot guarantee that gasoline mixed with ethanol will not damage automotive systems. In addition, they add that the option of modifying vehicles to alter manufacturers design does not guarantee that the vehicles will not suffer any damage.

Meanwhile, former legislator Diaz asks the high court judges to suspend the distribution and sale of the ethanol mixture, “for its arbitrary imposition of forcing us to use it.”

Legislator Muñoz claims that Recope has not consulted with the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the coordinating minister of the Economic Council, Edna Camacho, or the ministers of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, Economy, Industry and Commerce, or Finance.

Neither, demanded the legislator, has Recope consulted the project with the different groups that defend the rights of consumers and owners.

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“It could be violating the principles of proportionality and rationality embodied in our Constitution; since the decision has been taken unilaterally and arbitrarily, affecting consumers and owners of gasoline vehicles,” Muñoz claimed in his court filing.

In addition, the PLN legislators Roberto Thompson and Franggi Nicolás presented a motion on Monday to the Public Income and Expenditure Control legislative committee to convene a hearing for Recope officials to clarify doubts about ECO 95.

The doubts of the legislators revolve around the criteria to select the mix percentages to be offered, the updates of the investment budgets, or the technical studies to define the performance of the fuels or the pollution that it produces.

The plan by Recope is not only to introduce an ethanol mix to consumers, rather the mix is a replacement to the super, forcing consumers to use the mix and possibly suffer mechanical damage to their vehicles, in particular, older vehicles or use a lower grade – regular or Plus 91 – in their engines.

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