Deteriorating Oil and Gas Wells Threaten Drinking Water,
Homes Across the Country
Gas company employees must test this temporary vent to see if it’s safe for Nick Kellington and his family to visit their home. The Kellingtons were evacuated after gas from a nearby abandoned well caused a small explosion in West Mifflin, Pa. (Nicholas Kusnetz/ProPublica)
A version of this story was co-publishedwith the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
In the last 150 years, prospectors and energy companies have drilled as many as 12 million holes across the United States in search of oil and gas. Many of those holes were plugged after they dried up. But hundreds of thousands were simply abandoned and forgotten, often leaving no records of their existence. (mais…)
RENEWED CONFLICT BETWEEN TRIBES AND OIL COMPANIES IN PERU
Indigenous peoples and their allies have intensified their fight against two oil companies over contamination in the Peruvian Amazon. Last week, a group of indigenous protesters blockaded portions of the Marañon and Corrientes Rivers in the province of Loreto in northeastern Peru. The protesters were demanding that Pluspetrol, an Argentinean oil company, compensate them for a recent oil spill. As of December 28th, after eight days, the blockade remained unbroken.
This follows on the heels of a similar blockade in October, which drew five thousand indigenous protesters from the Achuar, Awajun and Shawi tribes. That blockade, which lasted for weeks, ended only when the regional government finally agreed to perform water quality tests in the Marañon.
Right now, the main issue is contamination from an oil spill in June 2010, when 400 barrels of oil spilled into the Marañon from a tanker transporting oil for Pluspetrol. The company has blamed outside contractors for the accident, but indigenous groups are still demanding that Pluspetrol pay up. They are asking the company to undertake reforestation efforts in degraded areas, in addition to providing food, medicines, and cash payments to affected communities.