Venezuela. One of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. A place with a nasty heavy-oil industry that produces tremendous quantities of water and spills oil into tropical rivers. And now, a place with no environment ministry.
It was bad enough when the ministry was stupid and weak. Now, it’s been “consolidated” with the housing ministry. In a country where nobody except the government builds homes, the housing ministry has its hands full. It won’t dedicate a whole lot of time or money to the environment.
Meanwhile, in Colombia, the environment ministry has grown a spine and recently sanctioned Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp for improper water disposal in the llanos. (Funny how the Colombian press and the company have failed to report on that, eh? Thanks to Primera Página, the only real independent biz media in Colombia, for the heads-up on that news item.)
Sure, it’s probably about a decade late to the action, but it shows that a government can occasionally restrain the excesses of the oil industry if it wants to. In Venezuela, that won’t be happening.
I eagerly await the condemnation of Amazon Watch, the International Rivers Network, and other protectors of the environment.