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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.
The worst case of oil pollution on the planet
texacoChevron-Texaco in the Ecuadorian amazon region:
Chevron is responsible for creating toxic contamination 30 times larger than the Exxon Valdez Probably the largest oil-related environmental catastrophe in the world exists quietly in the Amazon rainforest, threatening to wipe out five indigenous groups largely out of sight of the world's media.

In an isolated part of Ecuador, Chevron dumped billions of gallons of toxic wastewater into the rainforest from 1964 to 1992 while operating hundreds of oil wells. Today, this waste threatens five indigenous groups with extinction and has created what experts believe could be the worst environmental disaster on the planet other than Chernobyl. Chevron intentionally discharged into Ecuador's rainforest more than 30 times the amount of oil spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster. Much to Chevron's dismay, 30,000 rainforest dwellers stood up to this corporate goliath and filed a historic class-action lawsuit in Ecuador against the company in 2003. The lawsuit (Aguinda v. ChevronTexaco) has the potential to set an important legal precedent that could benefit millions of vulnerable people worldwide. The case is the first in history where rainforest tribes have been able to gain jurisdiction in their own courts over a large American oil company. The rainforest dwellers assert that Chevron systematically dumped 18.5 billion gallons of highly carcinogenic toxic waste into unlined pits, swamps, streams, and rivers. The resulting disaster—dubbed the "Rainforest Chernobyl" by locals—is connected to numerous deaths from cancer and an untold number of spontaneous miscarriages and genetic malformations. Once a pristine rainforest, the area where Chevron operated is now filled with more than 1,000 toxic waste pits and hundreds of swamps and streams filled with oil muck. Some of the waste pits are the size of a football field, and many contain the carcasses of cows and horses that have fallen into the pits and asphyxiated.

crude_reflections_20p Over the years, the toxic contents of the waste pits have leeched into the groundwater, streams and rivers, contaminating the larger ecosystem and sending toxins downstream into Peru. Since there are no other options for obtaining water, local people now depend on these contaminated sources for drinking water. Thousands of people are slowly poisoning themselves several times daily as they consume the water, bathe in local waterways, and breathe the vapors in the air from the pits. Childhood leukemia rates are four times higher in this area than in other parts of Ecuador; children as young as a few months of age have died of leukemia.

What Chevron did in Ecuador was the direct result of the company's decision to prioritize short-term profits over people's lives and the environment. To further increase profits in Ecuador, the company decided not to dispose of the toxic waste by re-injecting it hundreds of feet back into the well cavity to protect the environment. The "re-injection" technology needed to do this was in use for decades in the United States at the time Chevron began drilling in Ecuador. By foregoing use of this cleaner technology, Chevron saved approximately $4.5 billion over the life of its operations in Ecuador. Despite these short-term gains, the long-term environmental and human costs are now almost too large to measure. Today, the affected tribes and communities are demanding that Chevron foot the $6 billion clean-up bill—a modest portion of the estimated $30 billion in profits that the company extracted from its dirty Ecuadorian operations.

crude_reflections_14p Although the rainforest dwellers affected by Chevron's toxic legacy can never fully be compensated for their suffering and loss, they hope to win their historic class-action lawsuit against the company so a comprehensive clean-up can take place. The trial has three phases: a proof period, where witnesses testify and evidence is presented; a judicial inspection period, where the judge and technical experts visit and assess the contaminated sites; and a period to determine clean-up costs. The trial is currently nearing an end, with only the cost assessment left to complete. Water and soil samples collected indicate extensive contamination at 100% of the sites inspected.

Chevron's trial strategy is to rely on technical defenses, including a release secured from Ecuador's government in 1995 after the company supposedly "remediated" a limited number of toxic waste pits. Chevron's "remediation" of the pits amounted to little more than smoothing dirt over the tops of the pits without cleaning them out, which failed to lower contamination levels. The trial is expected to end in late 2007 or early 2008.

Read more about Chevron Texaco in Ecuador on http://www.texacotoxico.org/eng 

 

Latest news ...

19 May 2016, 17.04
by YASunidos For twelve days in May local, national and global groups from all over the planet held actions in six continents and 13 countries under the banner to "break free from fossil fuels". It was an unprecedented wave of peaceful direct action, in many cases including children and elders, warning governments and corporations that the era of dirty fossils has come to an end. We will not stand by while they sell our future.
13 April 2016, 16.07
by UN News Centre 12 April 2016 – Welcoming Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa to the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said the world needs a new vision for urbanization – a "New Urban Agenda" – to help protect the environment and limit climate
07 April 2016, 12.40
by Amazon Watch, Kevin Koenig Last week, the Ecuadorian government announced that it had begun constructing the first of a planned 276 wells, ten drilling platforms, and multiple related pipelines and production facilities in the ITT (Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini) oil field, known as Block 43, which overlaps Yasuní National Park in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. Coupled with the recent signing of two new oil concessions on the southern border of Yasuní and plans to launch another oil lease auction
04 April 2016, 15.49
by Huffpost Green, Alexandra Valencia QUITO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Ecuador's parliament on Thursday authorized drilling of the nation's largest oil fields in part of the Amazon rainforest after the failure of President Rafael Correa's plan to have rich nations pay to avoid its
04 April 2016, 15.33
First of 200 wells drilled close to controversial block of forest known to have two of the last tribes living in isolation by The
16 March 2016, 16.06
by Human Rights Watch Correa Cracks Down on Environmental
15 March 2016, 17.50
by Jonathan Watts, the guardian Environmentalists devastated as president blames lack of foreign support for collapse of pioneering conservation
09 March 2016, 11.05
Ende Gelände Ende Gelände (Here and no Further) for lignite coal in Lusatia: climate justice in action! In 2016, the farewell to coal continues: Vattenfall, owner of the coal field in Lusatia is trying to sell its German lignite coal branch. This is a unique chance to finally close down opencast pits and coal power stations and to show that it is possible to phase-out coal in a socially and ecologically responsible
25 February 2016, 12.24
globalpost.com by Kamilia Lahrichi AMAZON RAINFOREST, Ecuador — In one of the most ecologically diverse corners of the planet, a small tribe is fending off oil corporations that want to drill their ancestral land. It takes first a bumpy 20-minute drive from the city of Tena, then a two-hour journey on a rudimentary canoe to meet the Daya family, one of the few Huaorani communities in the Amazon rainforest who have not yet abandoned their traditional
04 February 2016, 11.14
by Mongabay There is fear that oil exploitation will lead to widespread soil, groundwater, and surface stream contamination. The government claims to have organized a free, prior and informed consultation, but critics disagree. The Sápara say they are ready to follow the Sarayaku example and bring their case to national and international courts in order to avoid the drilling of blocks 79 and 83. The Ecuadorian government has signed two contracts with the China-based Andes Petroleum
03 February 2016, 15.19
Pachamama Alliance The indigenous people in this region are strongly opposed to any plans for oil development and vow to resist and stop these projects. They know the environmental and social disaster that oil development will bring. On January 26 the government of Ecuador formally signed exploration contracts for two Amazonian oil blocks—known as blocks 79 and 83—with Chinese state oil company, Andes Petroleum. The Ecuadorian government also announced plans to open up 16 other oil blocks
08 January 2016, 17.06
Mondiaal Nieuws The Yasuni territory in Ecuador is under pressure because of oil reserves found underneath the nature reserve. Here in ParisYasunidos wages action during the climate summit. Their proposal gives a voice to the local population, protects the Yasuni territory and is an answer for the global challenge of climate
07 January 2016, 15.36
Amazon Watch Yasunidos Defends Signatures and Denounces Electoral Irregularities Quito, Ecuador – Just five days after turning in more than enough signatures to qualify for a national referendum to stop oil drilling plans in a critical part of Ecuador's Yasuni National Park, Yasunidos, the civil society collective spearheading the grassroots effort is denouncing what appear to be egregious irregularities by the National Election Commission
07 January 2016, 15.25
Amazon Watch Experts Say Move Could Set Precedent for Future Disputes Between Environmentalists, Government and Industry By Mercedes Alvaro, Wall Street Journal A coalition opposed to a new oil development in a national park in Ecuador's Amazon rain forest say they have collected enough signatures to force a referendum on the activity, which experts say could set a precedent for future disputes between environmentalists, the government and
07 January 2016, 15.01
www.mongabay.com By Rhett A. Butler The fate of the most biodiverse rainforest on Earth has been decided: it will be drilled for oil. On Thursday Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said he has abandoned a plan that would have prohibited oil extraction from Yasuni National Park in Eastern Ecuador in exchange for payments to leave the crude in the ground. Correa had sought $3.6 billion in contributions — equivalent to roughly half the value of the 846 million barrels of oil estimated to lie under
07 January 2016, 14.48
www.mongabay.com By Rhett A. Butler Data released this week by Terra-i, a collaborative mapping initiative, shows that deforestation in Ecuador for the first three months of 2013 was pacing more than 300 percent ahead of last year's rate. The report comes shortly after Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa killed off a proposed plan to prohibit oil drilling in Yasuni National Park in exchange for payments equivalent to half the value of the park's unexploited

Documentaries Videos

Documentaries and videos

Climate Action Week: This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein | Capitalism vs The Climate

 

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Message from Dr. Vandana Shiva to the Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa

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I am Yasuní

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Yasuní-ITT. A Post-Oil Initiative

 

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