6 Oct 2010

Basque ecosocialists fight biofuel menace

Basque Activists from Ekologistak Martxan (www.ekologistakmartxan.org) have picketed for FOUR days the marquee which oil company Repsol YPF /Petronor erected in Bilbao's city centre to educate citizens on respect to the environment. The first picket was provoked by a spill from one of Repsol YPF's tracks of 13000 litres into Bilbao's river last Monday 27th September. The diesel went through the river passing next to their marquee. Bit that is not Repsol YPF's only spill:Repsol YPF' has expanded in Latinamerica using Spanish connections (supported by the Spanish government) and making the most of all the financial structure impositions by IMF, etc which meant privatization of public services and companies. In Latin America her record of environmental damage (deforestation, pollution of aquifers, rivers, plantations, air, health problems, etc) is massive (see some of them bellow). Repsol also is owner of a big refinery in Muskiz (Bilbao's coast) which was build in a massive marshland and that now wants to be expanded with a coque plant and therefore further fumes, CO2 and greenhouse gases. This is object of conflict with locals. Repsol was also responsible last year (2009) for two big spills in her offshore prospection platforms of Tarragona and plans now to drill for oil in the Mexican Gulf (Cuban waters) from platforms deeper (10.000 metres) than the Deepwater Horizon. This week Repsol YPF also contacted the Tentayapi community (Guarani people, Bolivia) to tell them they plan to start extracting gas. Tentayapi stopped Repsol YPF, seeing how the area was granted Untouchable Culture Patrimony status in 2005

On the four days the marquee was close down (without any violence, just by being there). Activists wore white over-alls and masks with a Repsol skull and 'Repsol kills' (both in Spanish and Basque) and displaid a 'Repsol murderer' banner (in Basque). Photos of damage caused by Repsol YPF in Yasuni Nature Reservoir (Ecuador) were also displaid. Activists also gave away hundreds of leaflets showing why they oppose this big transnational and shouted against green wash and hypocrisy, spills and pollution, expansionism in Latin America,climate change, etc. Peoples' reaction was very good, demonstrating that despite their big efforts and funding, people portray them as enemies of the environment

(text from leaflets given to bypassers at pickets)

27/10/2010; 13,000 liters of gasoline spilled by Repsol YPF truck to the Ibaizabal estuary (Nervión) (Bilbo).
August / September 2010: spills occur in Añelo (Neuquén, Argentina)
4/8/1910: discharged at the Cotorrio river (Basque Country) by Petronor (Repsol YPF )
12 DIC 2009: spill from broken pipeline in San Luis Repsol YPF (Agentina)
October 2009: fuel spill by Repsol-YPF in Quilmes (Argentina)
June 2009: slaughter of dozens of Indians who are opposed to oil activities in the Peruvian Amazon, including Repsol YPF. Survival asked Repsol YPF to withdraw from Peru. In April 2010, Repsol YPF sought to build 454 km of seismic lines and 152 heliports in the Peruvian Amazon.
May 15-June 2009: oil spill by (Repsol YPF) in Tarragona's (Catalunya) offshore platforms. Repsol YPF was tried.
March 4, 2009: 5th pipeline spill at Camisea (Peru)
March 20, 2009: 70 conservation organizations demanded Repsol YPF's expulsion from Ecuador
February 25, 2009: 14,000 barrels of oil spilled from OCP oilpipe (participation of Repsol YPF) aat the Cayambe-Coca ecological reserve (Ecuador)
August 2008: Argentina Supreme Court opens a multimillion lawsuit against Repsol YPF for environmental damage caused by more than 4,000 spills in Neuquén, Río Negro and Mendoza
5 June 2008: tar spill in the river Barbadun (Basque Country) by Petronor (Repsol YPF )
February 6, 2008: spill of 190 tons of toxic liquid waste into the river Francolí (Tarragona)
February 1, 2008: Repsol YPF spilled 2500 barrels of oil in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve (Amazonia, Ecuador)
December 2007: spill in Chubut (Argentina) by Repsol YPF
July 2, 2007: The Supreme Court investigates Argentine Repsol and other oil companies for environmental damage
October 18, 2005: 350,000 liters of oil spilled in Neuquén (Argentina)
June 30, 2005: Two killed by explosion of gas at Repsol YPF's wells in Surubi (Bolivia)
August 14, 2003: 9 employees of the Repsol refinery in Puertollano were killed by gas explotion
March 29, 2001: explosion of 40,000 liters tank at Paynemil Reserve (Argentina) producing spill and fire
2000: spill at Iguazú (Argentina)
1988: spill at Quilmes (Argentina) from broken pipeline. Since then there is a bag of about 3000 cubic meters of fuel underground, at less than one meter deep.

Zor Ekologiko Batzordea
Ekologistak Martxan
Pilota Kalea 5
48005 Bilbo
(Euskal Herria/País Vasco/Basque Country)

Tel: (00 34) 94 4790119




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