Natural Gas
Global Warming

Ecuador moves to stop oil crisis, by BBC News [2006 February 22]

"The demonstrations started on Sunday. Ecuador has deployed troops in an Amazon province where protesters have blocked roads and attacked one of the country's main pipelines.

"Activists are demanding a greater share of the profits from Ecuador's hydrocarbons exports. They also want further investment in infrastructure and new jobs, and a crackdown on alleged corruption by big oil companies."

Ecuador's oil pollution fears [2002 April 15]
"Environmental activists in Ecuador are fighting to persuade the government to divert the course of a new oil pipeline away from one of South America's most important bird reserves.... Activists say that more oil has leaked into the ground ... in Ecuador, than was spilled in the Exxon Valdez super tanker disaster off Alaska in 1989.... A visit to the oil fields around the town of Lago Agrio ... bears witness to the problem.... Oil waste is collected in vast pools often on agricultural land, making further cultivation impossible... Gas is burned off... And small spills are shovelled up, put in plastic bags and buried.... The whole area reeks of oil and local farmers talk of how the groundwater is contaminated, large black drops forming on the vegetation when it rains... Local people also feel that the vast amount of money made by the oil industry does not trickle down to them.

Government unmoved
"In February this year protests against the industry became so fierce that a state of emergency was declared around Lago Agrio and the army was sent in to break up the disturbances. The government is unmoved. It says the new pipeline, the OCP, will enable the country to double oil production and thus earn millions of dollars in much needed hard currency. The chairman of OCP, a consortium of foreign oil companies, ... says he understands the concerns of the environmentalists, but that it would be wrong to consider not building the pipeline just because it goes through a delicate area. 'The consequences of not completing the pipeline would be very grave," he says. 'It would send a message to the international investment community that you can't work in Ecuador. And that would be just the opposite of what's happening at the moment....'"

German Money In Ecuador's Rainforests (see also video accessible from this link) [2002 April 15]
"A German bank is financing a highly-controversial pipeline project in Ecuador, which will run through the country's rainforests.... The dispute surrounding the Oleoducto de Crudos Pesados (OCP) or Heavy-Crude Pipeline in Ecuador has not just caused local resistance. Thousands of kilometers away, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the OCP project is also a hot topic of discussion. The credit institute Westdeutsche Landesbank (WestLB) has granted over $1 billion in loans to finance the pipeline. It is facing strong criticism in Germany for violating its own lending policies by financing a project that fails to comply with the World Bank's environmental standards.... The proposed route also runs through Mindo-Nambillo, part of a humid forest region known as Chocó Andino. It extends to Colombia and is considered one of the areas with the greatest bird diversity in the world. Local environmentalists in Mindo say the pipeline will bring untold damage to the area. It will also pollute drinking water supplies, and cause further soil erosion. Government officials, on the other hand, say the project will give the country's economy a much-needed boost. And they insist that environmental standards will be upheld."
Ecuador Suspends Increases In Gas,Elec,Telephone Tariffs [2002 Apr 4]
"... According to official data, the domestic gas subsidy requires public resources worth some $200 million annually. A 15 kilogram gas cylinder goes for around $1.60, but its real cost is estimated at $6.

"Noboa's announcement [suspending tariff increases] comes amid the country's negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for the renewal of a standby credit facility amounting to some $300 million. To secure the facility, the government must cut at least $500 million from its 2002 budget, which is a tall order in an election year. While local analysts said the tariff suspensions will effectively help the country reach the set inflation targets, they warned that the wrong message is being sent to international investors eyeing seven local electricity utilities up for privatization later this month."

FOOL'S GOLD: In Ecuador's Rain Forest, the Case Against Texaco is Clear-Cut, by Matthew Yeomans [1997 February]
"At first sight, it didn't seem that bad. Yes, Lago, as everyone calls it, in the heart of the Oriente, is a dusty, tough-looking oil town. But it was hardly the apocalyptic nightmare I had been led to expect. Where were the rivers of crude running down the main street, the burly, threatening oil workers hanging out on every corner?"
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