15 Jul 2010


Oil industry sycophants, with their dollar store logic, are quick to tell us that oil spills are one of those 'unfortunate facts of life', like taxes in a market economy or Geraldo Rivera becoming a journalist.

They're tragedies that we're just supposed to live with, they tell us. After all, 'We're only human. We all mistakes'.

Maybe it's enough to explain a couple oil spills---like the one by that guy who 'accidentally' dropped his bucket into an open sewer---But, of course, we're talking about far more than one or two.

In the United States alone, roughly 20,000 oil spills were recorded between 2000-2008, totalling some 4 million gallons.

If we widen the scope a bit, we also find Texaco's oil adventures in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Over the course of 30 years, until 1990, the company permitted more than 19 billion gallons of toxic oil wastewater and 17 million gallons of crude oil to leach into the environment. It's by far the largest oil disaster in the world.

Indigenous Peoples in the region have been literally devastated by the oil. According to the campaign group ChevronToxico , they now suffer from an "exploding public health crisis" that includes skin rashes, breathing problems, spontaneous abortions, birth defects and several different types of cancer. All of this was unheard of before the company arrived in 1964.

Since then, notes the Amazon Defense coalition, "more than 1,400 people have died of cancer."

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