C&C Energia does right thing – but did Colombia?

When C&C Energia discovered that their oil exploration block contained ecological preserves, they gave it back to the government and got out of their commitments to drill the lots. This seems to me like exactly what an oil company should do. The market hasn’t been treating C&C very kindly ever since a May 30 press release. But the real issue here seems to be the government of Colombia. What were they thinking, auctioning off an oil exploration block when, in C&C’s words, “several National Ecological Reserves were identified within the block boundaries.”

Note that this site previously covered something vaguely similar. Now, I don’t know, maybe C&C isn’t giving us the whole story. But if they are — wouldn’t it save everyone time and heartache if countries did biological inventories and mapped their protected areas and endangered species before inviting in the oil drills?

One thought on “C&C Energia does right thing – but did Colombia?

  1. westslope

    “But if they are — wouldn’t it save everyone time and heartache if countries did biological inventories and mapped their protected areas and endangered species before inviting in the oil drills?”

    Yes, if money, like eternally abundant fish, fell from the skies. Multinational resource companies, particularly mining companies are often the first to inventory flora and fauna in their project areas. These companies deploy private capital long before revenues ever show up. Colombia could barely finance inadequate police forces and an army a few years ago, let alone undertake a mega-project wildlife inventory exercise.

    Now we could turn this into the usual evil versus good debate, and ask the following painful questions:

    Why are ordinary people so disrespectful of flora and fauna, habitat and watersheds? Should we purge ordinary people from the land because they have historically been such bad stewards? Or do ordinary folks have an entitlement to destroy habitat?

    Perhaps we should socially gang-press wildlife biologists into working for the same wages as illiterate farm workers? We could follow the example of the Republic of South Africa that has righteously forced out many doctors from the country. This mega-project inventory exercise might work if the biologists would accept US$50/month.

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