Brazil's New Dam Opens Shipping Doors But Hurts Green Image

A new $7.7 billion dam is being built in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, a piece of infrastructure expected to ease the shipment of goods between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. But its environmental impact may hurt Brazil's green credibility.
December 16, 2009, 2pm PST | Nate Berg
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"The $7.7 billion Santo Antonio dam on the Madeira river is part of Brazil's largest concerted development plan for the Amazon since the country's military government cut highways through the rain forest to settle the vast region during its two-decade reign starting in 1964.

In the coming years, dams, roads, gas pipelines, and power grids worth more than $30 billion will be built to tap the region's vast raw materials, and transport its agricultural products."

The dam is expected to begin operations in December 2011, and officials call it a crucial element in improving the economic wellbeing of many Brazilians. But some say the massive project goes against Brazil's intentions to become a leader in the green movement.

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Published on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 in The Washington Post
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