NO WORRIES! SAY THE OFFICIALS

No worries! The environmental footprint of the surveys is zero.

Giorgos Mykoniatis, ELPE, 01/12/ 2018 

An honest and conscientious man in the petroleum industry is so rare that he is considered a museum species.

Harold L. Ickes, US Secretary of State, 1936

80 % of Italy’s crude oil is extracted from the Val d’Agri area of that country’s Basilicata region, with serious repercussions on the environment, and on the social and urban fabric. The strong aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbon and hydrogen sulphide fumes given off by the 47 wells are a threat to the environment and biodiversity. There has been no marked increase in the wealth of the local population, who are actually leaving the area at an increasing rate.

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WRITTEN QUESTION by Salvatore Tatarella (UEN) to the Commission. Subject: Environmental situation in Basilicata linked to oil extraction. 2/10/2008

80 % of Italy’s crude oil is extracted from the Val d’Agri area of that country’s Basilicata region, with serious repercussions on the environment, and on the social and urban fabric. There has been no marked increase in the wealth of the local population, who are actually leaving the area at an increasing rate. The strong aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbon and hydrogen sulphide fumes given off by the 47 wells are a threat to the environment and biodiversity. A study by the University of Basilicata published in the ‘International Journal of Food Science Technology’ shows that honey produced in Val d’Agri contains high rates of benzene and alcohols, which are dangerous to man. Leading national dailies (Corriere della Sera of 22 September 2008, p. 8) and local newspapers (Il Resto) have carried reports of a high level of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) pollution, originating from the oil refining process. There is a body of scientific evidence attesting to risks to human health posed by that substance, which is made all the more dangerous by the fact that, although one in two people are able to recognise the acrid smell of H2S at concentrations of 8 ppb, and nine in ten can recognise its characteristic odour at 50 ppb, H2S becomes odourless at concentrations of over 100 ppm as it immediately immobilises the sensory organs. According to Corriere della Sera, the permitted threshold value for hydrogen sulphide in Italy is 10 000 times higher than the one authorised in the United States. Could the Commission therefore indicate:

whether the information on the threshold hydrogen sulphide value permitted in Italy is correct and why, if so, it is so different, to the detriment of the Italian public;
whether it is aware of the situation in Val d’Agri and whether it has ever checked environmental compatibility with European water, soil and air regulations in the areas for which the Basilicata Regional Council has granted drilling franchises to oil companies?

Can we really not worry?
Thinking the scenario of an accident - do not forget that we live in one of Europe's most earthquake areas - we not just worry, we are terrified!

THE REAL COST : 

Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund.
The vast sum is largely due to polluters not paying the costs imposed on governments by the burning of coal, oil and gas. These include the harm caused to local populations by air pollution as well as to people across the globe affected by the floods, droughts and storms being driven by climate change.

So, those polluters who never pay the costs, try to convince us that we don't have to worry, that they care for us and our land ... Who believes them?

 

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