President Hugo Chavez has signed a decree declaring an energy emergency in Venezuela to facilitate his government's efforts to ease severe energy shortages.
Venezuela imposed electricity and water rationing in December to prevent a collapse of the electricity grid as severe drought drops water levels behind the Guri Dam to critical lows. The dam supplies most of Venezuela's electricity.
Energy Minister Ali Rodriguez says the government must accelerate plans to reduce energy consumption while boosting production.
Chavez signed the emergency decree Monday.
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