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Centrão expands influence in state and energy sector bodies


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In an election year, the so-called centrão grew over the energy sector, occupying key positions in regulatory agencies and in state-owned companies that remained in this area, such as Petrobras and Itaipu.

This political group has also reinforced interference in the formulation of laws that affect segments such as fuel.

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Historically, the centrão brings together a group of parties with little or no ideological position, but very active in negotiating to occupy government positions. At the moment, the center has about 180 deputies in the Chamber, considering the three main parties, PL, Republicans and PP, which act as a base of support for the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government.

Precisely for this reason, the field where the center shows more protagonism in the energy area is the Congress. Its parliamentarians, in general, began to assist lobbies of companies in the energy sector, which turn to Congress after having their requests rejected in the technical areas of the agencies and the MME (Ministry of Mines and Energy).

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Representatives of the center are usually involved in most of these political mobilizations in favor of business groups that, not infrequently, generate new expenses for the electricity bill of all Brazilians.

The most recent case took place just over two weeks ago and is still under discussion. In the short space of 15 hours, the Chamber amended MP (provisional measure) 1,118, creating a new subsidy, and concluded the vote on its text, which went to the Senate.

MP’s focus is the fuel market. However, the rapporteur, deputy Danilo Fortes (União-CE) inserted amendments that change rules in the electricity sector. There was an agreement with the president of the House, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), for a quick process.

The amendment in the Chamber met a request from renewable energy companies, especially wind power, and went against the rule defended by the MME and Aneel (National Electric Energy Agency). The change in the Legislature transferred a cost of transmission, which the energy bodies understand to be from the generation company, to the consumer.

Political interference, if ratified by the senators, will transfer R$ 8 billion to the electricity bill, according to estimates by Abrace (Association of Large Industrial Energy Consumers and Free Consumers). The largest increases will be greater in the states of deputies acting for the rapid approval of the text.

Alagoas, state of Arthur Lira, will have the biggest increase, 5.67%. Ceará’s electricity bill, based on deputy Danilo Fortes, who introduced the amendments, will have a rise of 4.11%. In the case of the Senate, Minas Gerais, of the President of the House, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), will suffer an increase of 4.27%.

In the energy segment, historically, the MDB was the most influential acronym. Since redemocratization, in the late 1980s, party chiefs have nominated names for the MME and public organizations in the area, mainly in the Eletrobras system, which was privatized this year.

Bolsonaro’s administration is transferring the axis of power to the center. The changes in Itaipu are examples.

On the Brazilian side, two names associated with the political bloc are on the board of directors of the binational company. This year, the former governor of Paraná Maria Aparecida Borghetti, wife of Ricardo Barros (PP-PR), exponent of the centrão and leader of the government in the Chamber, entered. Borghetti took the place of Carlos Marun, the name of the MDB that had been nominated by former president Michel Temer (MDB).

Bolsonaro reappointed former deputy José Carlos Aleluia Costa, who already had a seat on the council. Hallelujah was in DEM and was not reelected. However, he is a historic downtown name. He became leader of the PFL in the Chamber, a party that participated in the creation of the centrão during the National Constituent Assembly, in the 1980s.

At Petrobras, for the first time since the Dilma Rousseff (PT) government, an occupant of the Palácio do Planalto was elected to represent the government on the board of directors, despite contrary opinions from the internal committee that analyzes the curricula for the state-owned company and the collegiate itself. .

Ciro Nogueira’s number two (PP-PI) in the Civil House Ministry, Jônathas Assunção was elected in a meeting at the end of August at the insistence of the government, which contested the assessment of the company’s governance bodies on a possible conflict of interest with its position in the Highland.

Since the Michel Temer administration, Petrobras had been electing more technical and independent government councils, but this year, taking advantage of dissatisfaction with the rise in fuel prices, Bolsonaro decided to set up a more aligned collegiate, formed mostly by holders of public positions. .

In the pressure to reduce resistance in internal governance bodies, the president of the Chamber of Deputies even proposed changes to the State-owned Companies Law, approved by Temer to try to shield these companies from political interference.

The influence of the political bloc also advanced over the sector’s regulatory agencies.

At the ANP (Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás e Biocombustíveis), former minister Onyx Lorenzoni (PL-RS) managed to sign director Fernando Moura, who accompanied him to the Ministry of Citizenship and the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic and, before the agency held a post in the Ministry of the Environment.

With no experience in the oil sector, Moura was mentioned on the Senate hearing as a collaborator in the elaboration of decrees related to the biofuels sector, which guaranteed him “high concept in the field of the position for which he is indicated”, according to the rapporteur of his appointment. , Senator Carlos Vianna (PL-MG).

The nominations for Aneel are also examples of the new times. Representatives of the center chose 3 of the 5 directors, including the general director, Sandoval de Araújo Feitosa Neto.

Feitosa, a technician with a career at Aneel, was chosen by the Minister of the Civil House, Ciro Nogueira, to command the collegiate in the current management. If there was any doubt about the support, Feitosa made it very clear.

In his speech at the inauguration ceremony, he nominally thanked the minister and fellow countryman, who attended the event. Both are from Piauí. The demonstration, however, caused discomfort to the oldest members of the energy sector, as this type of public manifestation is unusual at the agency’s events.

Another exponent of the center who participated in the choice of directors was Senator Marcos Rogério (PL-RO). He defended that the command post at the agency should go to Efrarin Pereira da Cruz who, like him, is from Rondônia. As he had to yield in favor of the minister, he can indicate two names for the agency.

His choices were Ricardo Tili, who is also from Rondônia, and his advisor in the cabinet, Fernando Mosna da Silva. Mosna has been a prosecutor at the AGU (Advocacy-General of the Union) since 2012 and has worked in Rondônia.

The MDB has only one nominee, director Hélvio Guerra, who was reappointed with the support of Senator Eduardo Braga (MDB-AM).


Sought after, Aneel and ANP said that the process of appointing directors follows an official rite. The Minister of Mines and Energy sends the name of the nominee to the Presidency of the Republic, which, in turn, submits the name of the nominee to a hearing in the Federal Senate.

The nominee can only be sworn in at the agency after the approval of the senators. Both agencies stated that the qualifications of the nominees for the roles were attested during this process.

Aneel highlighted that its technical quality weighs in favor of the nominees. He reinforced, for example, that Sandoval Feitosa has been a career employee at the agency for 17 years and worked in inspection for eight years, was an advisor to the board, superintendent of two areas at Aneel, one for regulation and the other for inspection, to then have his name nominated for director.

Director Hélvio Guerra was superintendent of concessions and supervision of the agency’s generation and president of Aneel’s Special Bidding Commission. Guerra was also the agency’s superintendent from March 2001 to March 2019 and worked at the Ministry of Mines and Energy as deputy secretary at the Energy Planning and Development Department.

In a message sent to the report, Senator Marcos Rogério’s adviser stated that Mosna was an appointment by President Jair Bolsonaro himself, and that the senator’s former aide is a specialist with a career in the energy sector. “He was invited by Planalto based on his experience in the matter”, says the text.

Sought by the report, Itaipu said that it will not manifest itself. Petrobras did not respond to the interview request until the publication of this text.

THE Sheet tried to contact Onyx Lorenzoni by phone and e-mails from the Chamber of Deputies and the campaign for the government of Rio Grande do Sul, but received no response.

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