Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reigning in Irresponsible Oil Giants Chevron and Exxon Mobil

Big Oil is increasingly under scrutiny as the world is seeking cleaner sources of energy. The Obama administration is working on several fronts to reduce emissions and provide much needed oversight and regulation. Important financial and chemical reforms are being sought by US lawmakers and the EPA has put forward new mileage guidelines.

Although President Obama has denied any direct link, the SEC's fraud charges against Goldman Sachs are part of a new political climate and this is a reflection of the strength of the President's convictions.

In the context of this environment, social media based efforts are also underway to help reign in a couple of the many injustices of the oil giants.

Chevron is responsible for a catastrophe in Ecuador's rainforest known as the "Amazon's Chernobyl." Over the course of twenty-six years of oil drilling in Ecuador, Chevron deliberately dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater into the rainforest, leaving local people suffering a wave of cancers, miscarriages and birth defects.

Within the next year, the outcome of a court case sixteen years in the making will be determined by a court in Ecuador. Chevron has pledged that even if it is found guilty in court the company will not pay to clean up the site or provide health care, potable water and compensation to affected communities.

To demand that Chevron take responsibility for its actions in Ecuador, Change.org is circulating a petition intended for Chevron CEO John Watson telling him to clean up his toxic legacy in Ecuador.

The well know environment destroyer and denier supporter, ExxonMobil made a profit of $19.28 billion last year and avoided paying federal income tax by exploiting foreign tax shelters and taxpayer-funded giveaways.

Tax breaks and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry make it harder for renewable sources of energy to compete in an open market. Sierra has organized a petition that asks Congress to phase out subsidies and tax breaks to Big Oil.

Our dependence on oil puts us in the dangerous position of being beholden to questionable regimes and powerful oil interests that have a proven track record of environmental degradation and political manipulation.

Through determined political leadership and a broad spectrum of social action we can encourage investment in renewable energy and begin the process of weaning ourselves off oil. Renewable energy can create green jobs, grow a sustainable economy, reduce our reliance on foreign oil and contribute to a cleaner environment.

Related Posts

The Business of Climate Change Deception
The Economic Calamity of Peak Oil
Peak Oil
Planning a Future Without Oil
Drill Baby Drill
Koch Industries' Environmental Crimes
Koch Industries Financing Climate Denial
Koch Industries Destroys the Environment & Funds Climate Denial
Protecting the Planet from Corporate Influence

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