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Chevron/ Ecuador

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Submitted By Hallier33
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Chevron’s Amazon Disaster
Hallie Richardson
ETH/316
May 14, 2012
Professor Jeff Codner

Chevron’s Amazon Disaster In 2001, Chevron bought out Texaco Oil Company; as a global corporation Chevron also took on responsibilities that Texaco had left behind. Oil drilling had taken place in Ecuador’s rainforest region for 28 years, the cost-cutting methods that Texaco used caused many indigenous areas to be contaminated by this drilling. The environmental catastrophe was dubbed the “Rainforest Chernobyl” by experts (“Chevron Toxico”, 2012).
The Issues The cultural issues that became apparent from this problem were environmental issues as well as human rights issues. Pollution and exposure to certain toxic waste affected nearby villages of indigenous peoples of Ecuador. According to "Chevron Toxico" (2012), “Texaco’s oil extraction system in Ecuador was designed, built, and operated on the cheap using substandard technology from the outset” (A Rainforest Chernobyl). The rainforest environment that was affected housed 350 oil wells and Texaco left behind roughly 1000 toxic waste pits. Toxic waste pits were not properly built; in America at this time it was known that these toxic pits were dangerous and precautionary items like a plastic pool were built to avoid seepage into the ground water and nearby rivers. However, in Ecuador, the same pits did not have these certain structures, therefore, seepage occurred and toxins were freely left to absorb into the groundwater and pollute the rivers. The dignity and human rights of the Ecuadorians were also affected. Indigenous people are non-urbanized and live off of the lands by hunting, fishing, and farming. Environmental degradation affects this group more than anyone else. Human rights are threatened when the rivers and groundwater are toxic; these people have no choice or other options of where to get their drinking

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