Mia Farrow and Amazon Watch have been revealed as Ecuador’s fools, while the country led by President Rafael Correa has, and continues to do oil deals and oil production that show cheerful disregard for the environment.
Moreover, Chevron, the American oil company not even doing business in Ecuador (and hasn’t ever done so, having purchased Texaco, which did until 1992, in 2001), has been the tool Correa has used as ‘environmental cover’ while he has done business with China-based oil drilling interests since 2008. Mia Farrow traveling to Ecuador to be used as the latest prop to stick her hand in an oil pit, and come out yelling that Chevron’s evil – she should have looked over to her left and called Correa the same thing.
Starting in 2009, Ecuador launched a plan formed in 2008 to allow China’s oil companies to drill for oil in Ecuador, while it gave the country $2 billion. It was an oil-for-money deal formed because Ecuador was having trouble borrowing money from the IMF because of its trade status at the time. Meanwhile, Correa was under a bit of pressure from some environmental groups to stop oil production, and protect the Yasuni National Park.
In order to get them off his back, Correa came up with a plan such that no oil production would take place in the Yasuni National Park, if a set of oil producing nations stepped forward and paid $4 billion to Ecuador.
This is what I wrote, August 13th, 2013:
The Yasuni National Park is a region that’s said to be eight times larger than the City Of Los Angeles. It’s a national park of 18,000 square miles of Ecuador rainforest and is rumored to be the most biologically diverse region in the World. For that primary set of reasons, The Yasuni National Park has been designated as a protected area that’s to be devoid of use for oil production, even though it’s said to have about 20 percent of the country’s oil reserves, or about 800 million barrels of crude oil.
That makes The Yasuni National Park the goose that President Correa thinks can lay golden eggs for Ecuador’s economy, and has had this view for at least over four years. Correa has always wanted to use The Yasuni National Park in this way, but he is too politically savvy to quickly reveal himself as an oil land barron. Doing so early on would have caused him to immediately lose the support of the Amazon Defense Coalition that was formed not to defend the Amazon or The Yasuni National Park, but specifically to collect money for the lawsuit against Chevron, which never drilled in Ecuador to start with.
So, Correa established the Yasuní-ITT Initiative in 2009, and said basically that if international oil companies paid a total of $3.6 billion that was to be raised over 12 years, he would not allow the State-owned PetroEcuador Oil Company to drill there. It was political genius – a head-fake the American envrionmental lobby foolishly bought hook, line, and sinker. Correa bought enough time for himself to help engineer a fraudulent Ecuador court verdict against Chevron for $19 billion, then go around the World trying to collect on that after it was found that Chevron had no assets or operations in Ecuador to ‘bill against.’ That failing, rather than extend the Yasuní-ITT Initiative, Correa elected to kill it.
And prior to that, and five years before on June 17th of 2009, I wrote that while the Yasuni-ITT plan was innovative, the Yasuni was already being used for oil production. This is what I wrote way back in 2009:
Correa’s idea is innovative, but gives pause. He’s asking for companies to pay to keep the oil under Yasuni untouched, but there’s a problem: oil production’s already taken place in Yasuni and there’s every indication Ecuador’s gotten no takers for Correa’s deal because of the knoweldge that the Yasuni’s “touched” already. Moreover, and this is little reported, Correa has said that if doesn’t get the $4 billion, Ecuador will “drill there anyway” which means Petroecuador expands operations. Correa’s real interest has been the continued nationalization of oil production, almost, it seems, by any means necessary.
So now, The Guardian UK reveals what I claimed back in 2009: that Correa was, indeed, faking out environmentalists, and they bought it hook, line, and sinker “Ecuador pursued China oil deal while pledging to protect Yasuni, papers show,” writes David Hill for the news organization.
And this from Amazon Watch’s CEO in the article:
“This raises serious doubts about whether the government was truly committed to keeping ITT oil in the ground,” said Atossa Soltani, from NGO Amazon Watch and a former ambassador for the initiative. “While we were promoting the Yasuni initiative to donors, the government was offering ITT’s crude to China.”
Excuse me while I gloat, but Amazon Watch has been on a mission to insult and bully and attack me, but all the while I’ve pressed on with my point because I’ve worked in politics long enough to see a guy like President Rafael Correa before he’s coming.
President Correa lied to a number of people, and has all-but gotten away with murder in trying to make Chevron look like the environmental bad guy, got Steven Donziger to basically be his legal doberman on a World scale, and fined and jailed any Ecuadorian who tried to tell the truth about his thuggish behavior and political style.
The facts are simple: Ecuador’s a poor nation that needs the money oil provides and it’s allowed its own land and people to be harmed in the maintenance of a petro-dollar economy to that end. Indeed, Ecuador’s used Chevron as a tool, covering up its true intentions by blaming the American oil company for everything from oil-spills caused by its state-run Petroecuador, to in some cases current cancer-sufferers – all avoiding the fact that Texaco, which Chevron bought in 2001, not only hasn’t been in Ecuador since 1992, but was given a document that said it did it’s job in environmental cleanup in 1998.
Yet, with all that, here comes Mia Farror to be the latest celebrity to play the role of Correa’s fool. Move over Darryl Hannah, you’ve got company. Call Amazon Watch, and tell them you’re pissed. Then fly to Ecuador and tell Correa to clean up his oil problem.
Amazon Watch personally owes me an apology. If they’re big people, they’ll deliver it without insulting me, but I’m not holding my breath to see that happen.