*  First posted 6/12/2018

There is a fire in me
Burns all night and day
Flares at injustice
Leaps at oppression
Glows warmly in beauty.

                  Ken Saro-Wiwa*


*Ken Saro-Wiwa : President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, led a non-violent campaign against the disaster that caused the activities of multinational oil companies, especially Shell, to the Niger Delta and its people. Ken Saro-Wiwa hanged in 1995 by the military dictatorship.

Αn 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

Oil is not just a dirty form of energy. The oil buisness is usually accompanied by very dirty buisness practices. Many years now, the oil companies commit serial crimes against nature and local communities in most parts of the world.

In the website savegreekseas.com, in the category #SerialDrillers, we gathered just some of the crimes commited by oil companies, from Patagonia to Indonesia and from Nigeria to Alaska. The list is big and continues to grow. 

And because a lot of people believe that these crimes only happen in third world countries...
In our neighbouring Italy, region of Basilicata, in the area Val d'Agri, 80% of italian oil is produced with very serious concequences for the environment but also for the social and urban web. Approximately 47 oil rigs emit intense fumes of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and hydrogen sulfide, that destroy the environment and biodiversity.Not only was there no real increase in the living standards of the inhabitants, on the contrary they were forced to leave their place.

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?

Worth watching :

Delta, Oil's Dirty Business. An awarded  documentary, written and directed by Yorgos Avgeropoulos, portrays the image of "development", as giant multinational petroleum companies would define it.

Black Snake Killaz: a #NoDAPL story (120 mins) from Unicorn Riot chronicles the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline from April 2016 through March 2017.

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