Monday, 31 May 2010

Something About Oil and Water (Make it up yourself)

The Deepwater Horizon disaster has been big news. Quite rightly so. But a major factor in this is because it happened in the US.
Worse has been happening elsewhere in the world for decades and especially in the Niger delta which supplies 40% of all the crude the United States imports.
On 1 May this year a ruptured Exxon Mobil pipeline in the state of Akwa Ibom spilled more than a million gallons into the delta over seven days before the leak was stopped.
Protests by locals were met with beatings from the company’s security guards
And demands for $1bn in compensation for the illness and loss of livelihood suffered will come to nothing. While Obama bangs on about BP footing the bill in America, there no chance of him encouraging US oil companies to do the same elsewhere.
In the past two years, there has been 10 oil spills in the region and the fishing industry all but destroyed. Life expectancy in the rural communities of the delta, where half the population has no access to clean water due to oil pollution, has fallen to little more than 40 years over the past two generations. The people there can only marvel at the efforts being made to protect the Louisiana shoreline. Much worse happens in the delta, where neither the government nor the oil companies give a fuck.
This is yet another reality check for the world’s most parochial country.
Americans might, just might, get to see what happens when oil companies are allowed to act with impunity and recklessness while Government officials turn a blind eye and take kick-backs.
You can bet your life that this won’t happen again.
Well – not in the US anyway. Not for a while anyway,
The Niger delta however, will be a different story.