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November 7, 2012

U.S. blasts Laos' decision to build $3.5B dam

  • Environmentalists warn the Xayaburi dam would open the door for a building spree of as many as 10 other dams on the 3,000-mile Mekong River.
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Monday criticized a decision by the struggling Asian nation of Laos to build the first dam across the mainstream of the Mekong River, a project that environmentalists warn could affect tens of millions of livelihoods and trigger a dam-building spree along Southeast Asia's mightiest waterway.

    The U.S. has urged a moratorium on such projects until impact studies are complete. But the State Department said Monday that Laos has announced its intention to start construction on the $3.5 billion Xayaburi dam despite lingering concerns downstream.

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