Are 18 Billion Gallons the World’s Worst Oil Spill?
|January 22, 2014||Posted by Staff under Environmental|
Is this the world’s worst oil spill? Is it an accident? This 2014 excerpt of Daily Kos, Jan 21, is by Ashley Allison, SierraRise Senior Campaigner.
For three decades, Texaco, now part of Chevron, dumped 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste into the Ecuadorian Amazon. In 1994, when Texaco was done pillaging Ecuador, it left behind a toxic wasteland. More than 900 open and unlined waste pits dot the landscape, overflowing toxic chemicals into the waterways that Ecuadorians rely on for cooking and bathing. Thousands were left suffering cancers and devastating birth defects.
In an unprecedented move, the oil giant is using a U.S. law intended to rein in mobsters to sue Ecuadorian activists and supporters — branding them as criminals just for speaking out.
The Sierra Club and thirty other organizations have joined forces to call out Chevron for their dirty tactics.
Ed. Notes: The law is on the polluter’s side. The best example of this bias is limited liability, AKA, the corporate charter. For a mere filing fee, anyone can get one, no matter if you intend to do business without harming nature, worker, or consumer, or if you conduct your enterprise with reckless disregard of others. While activists must react to every violation of rights as they come up, activists must also become proactive and repeal the government’s interference in business on the side of the polluter. Let those dirty companies try to get insurance from private insurers. And let stockholders sign contracts with firms to settle the liability issue. Business could become responsible if government would quit looking the other way when business is liable.
But to shift government from being a servant of business to being a servant of the people, it may be necessary to shift “rents” (the spending for land and resources) from lining the pockets of owners, lenders, and speculators to filling up the treasuries of the public. That is, use dues, fees, leases, and taxes to redirect society’s spending for nature to the government and have government use the revenue to pay the citizenry a dividend, a la Alaska. Such sharing of natural rents makes it possible to eliminate counterproductive taxes and wasteful subsidies.
Further, as beneficiaries of the earth’s worth, citizens become de facto owners of earth herself, better positioned to demand sustainable treatment of ecosystems by extractors, acknowledging some amount of harvesting is necessary for human civilization.