ABUSIVE PRICES

Members of Congress file suit to stop LP gas price hikes in Brazil

Plantiffs argue more people are not able to afford LP gas and risk their lives by cooking with firewood

Jandira Feghali: “Over one million families in Brazil are once again cooking with firewood and alcohol. It’s a life hazard.” / Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

Members of Brazil's Congress have filed a citizen lawsuit to a court in Brazil's Federal District to fight LP gas price hikes. They are asking the court to immediately stop the government’s LP gas pricing policy.

The citizen suit was filed by members of the Chamber of Deputies from the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB, opposition to the Michel Temer administration).

In addition to challenging the government’s decision to establish a parity pricing policy for oil, the citizen lawsuit also asks the court to order  gas cylinder price reductions back to rates from the first semester, plus inflation.

Congresswoman Jandira Feghali, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, says the suit is a response to the social impacts of gas price hikes.

“People are no longer able to afford to buy gas cyilnders. The poor or people who don’t have piped gas can’t buy it anymore. Over one million families in Brazil are once again cooking with firewood and alcohol. It’s a life hazard. The citizen suit was filed by all members of our party in the Chamber of Deputies to stop LP gas price hikes,” she said.

The lawsuit filed by the PCdoB includes details about the impacts described by Feghali. “Last year, 12.3 million households used firewood or coal to cook. The number is 11% larger than the 11.1 million households from the previous year. The pricing policy adopted by Petrobras for LP gas is causing a major setback to our society and civilization.”

The lawsuit also argues that, as a semi-public corporation, Petrobras’ operations should focus on “public interest,” not “profit at any cost.”

The citizen suit also asks that company has to pay a daily fine if it does not comply with the court order.

Brasil de Fato contacted Petrobras, but its PR office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Edition: Diego Sartorato | Translated by Aline Scátola