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Jan 12, 2010 1:56 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Venezuela announces nationwide energy rationing

Venezuela's government is starting rolling blackouts of four hours every other day throughout the country to combat an energy crisis.

The top officials of the state electric utilities in the capital of Caracas and two other western states on Tuesday announced plans for four-hour outages every other day. Electricity Minister Angel Rodriguez says the rationing plan is necessary to prevent water levels in Guri Dam from falling to critical levels and causing a widespread power collapse. The dam supplies most of Venezuela's electricity, drought has cut the flow of water into it.

Rodriguez told state television in an interview Monday night that the government plans "rationing every other day of four hours" nationwide starting Tuesday.

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