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How Change Is Challenging the Brazilian Energy Sector

Image: Bolsonaro's Facebook

November 06, 2018

After years of crisis, the Oil & Gas sector appears to be the driving force behind Brazil's economy in the aftermath of the election of Jair Bolsonaro as President. In an election that has seen a categorical rejection of the Establishment, the energy industry very much wishes to maintain its status quo.

The populist wave has now officially swept over Brazil. Second round voting on October 28 confirmed what had been apparent for the prior three weeks, but really the past few months – Jair Bolsonaro will be the next president of Brazil. He is radical, controversial, and fiercely nationalist. His traits have earned him the nickname the “Tropical Trump.” He embraces authoritarian tendencies. A former army captain, Bolsonaro praises the strength and order of Brazil’s former military dictatorship. He has run afoul with defenders of civil rights for his incendiary views on women, ethnic minorities, and the gay community. Bolsonaro’s victory shifts Latin America’s largest country hard to the right, upending four consecutive presidential wins by Brazil’s leftist Workers Party. Like the U.S. and Mexico in their last elections – and many other parts of the world – that shift was underpinned by anti-establishment fervor. Bolsonaro is a self-described law-and-order leader, whose mandate is to arrest the corruption, profligate spending, and breakdown in societal values that he believes flourished under the status quo, contributing to Brazil’s deepest recession and rampant drugs and violence in its cities...

Read the full op-ed here.