The major oil companies have caused some of the worst environmental pollution in the world. They have made tens of billions of dollars while the indigenous peoples in the areas where the oil companies extract the oil have had their livelihoods destroyed by the pollution. The water and land is so polluted that the people cannot fish or drink or bathe in their water or farm their land. They become sick from the results of shoddy, cheap, selfish oil-extraction methods. Meanwhile, the oil companies and the governments (often dictatorships) that have contracted with those companies don't bother to undertake any cleanup activities and don't share any of the proceeds with the locals whose lives they have ruined.
To make matters worse, some governments have had contracts with clauses that require both sides of the agreement to keep secret the amount of money the governments receive from the oil companies. When the people of a given nation want an accounting, the government simply says they've lost the records. However, considering the luxurious manner in which the highest government officials live even in utterly impoverished nations, it is clear and plain to see where the money has gone. It has gone to that very few who don't give a damn about their own people.
The whole cycle is a huge crime against God and why it is called "the curse of oil."
It is all evil from start to finish. Even in just the mundane, the accounting should be open. The oil companies should have to pay a fair "price" to the people of the supplier nation, meaning that all existing water and ground pollution should be cleaned up and no future pollution should be allowed to occur or stand. Also, all the people should have free education, health care, and other social benefits and otherwise share the wealth across-the-board.
Of course in the divine, the whole oil system should be shut down as rapidly as possible since it is on course, via global warming, to destroy the range of toleration for human and other species survival.
Chevron claims it is in favor of transparency; however, they have had secrecy clauses in their contracts. Some four billion, two hundred million in US dollars have gone unaccounted for in Angola under the contract with Chevron. It is also Chevron's subsidiary Texaco that played a huge pollution role in Ecuador, where the ground water is polluted in some cases forty thousand times the level that is acceptable in the US1 for instance (and US levels are still too high). The oil industry in Ecuador was nationalized, but the state-owned oil industry hasn't done much better if at all than was being done by Texaco.
From 1964 to 1992, Texaco drilled for oil in the northern region of the Ecuadorian Amazon, known as the "Oriente". The company left 627 open toxic waste pits and other facilities which continue to leak highly toxic waste, affecting more than 30,000 local people.
ChevronTexaco has hired the public relations firm, Hill & Knowlton to help cover-up one of the worst man-made ecological disasters in history.2
Hill & Knowlton is infamous. It is the firm that coached the lying teenage daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US when she faked her tears before the US Congress and the whole world lying through her teeth saying that Iraqis had thrown numerous babies out of their incubators and onto the floor in Kuwait murdering those premature babies. That wholesale lie was repeated by George H. W. Bush in his lead up to the first invasion of Iraq. It was his pretext. It was designed to enrage American sensibilities. After all, who should be allowed to live who would do such a thing? You see how the powers that be manipulate (toy with) the basic emotions of the people. It's the same lying spirit his son George W. Bush used when he lied through his teeth about the Iraqis shopping for uranium in Niger. After all, if Iraq was not looking to develop a nuclear weapon, why was it shopping for uranium? It was just for a pretext. It was just lying to manipulate the sensibilities of the people. In this case, "Like father, like son" applies. The father is a war criminal. The son is a war criminal.
Now how is anyone going to believe anything Chevron or its subsidiary Texaco has to say about former operations in Ecuador when they hire lie coaches?
Understand that the governments are no better than are the companies. The government of Angola has been thoroughly corrupt. When BP released the figures of what it had paid the government of Angola, the government told them to stop or leave. It is the greed of the government officials that is a root problem.
Chevron is Angola's largest oil producer. It has been operating in Angola for over 50 years. Yet, while Chevron is extremely wealthy and the top of the government in Angola is also extremely wealthy, the average Angolan lives in poverty and oil pollution.
Despite substantial petroleum reserves, Angola's economy has been unable to take advantage of its resources, because of the devastation caused by protracted civil war.3
The protracted civil war was a resource war.
Oil revenues have done little to improve the economy or the everyday lives of Angolans, especially in the interior, because huge sums have been spent on the armed forces and lost due to government corruption.
After many years of one-party Marxist rule, Angola is now a struggling multiparty democracy.
Angola has suffered as a result of imperialism, colonialism, the Cold War, resulting civil wars, and current economic exploitation.
Ecuador and Angola are but two examples where oil has been nothing but a curse. Oil has been a curse on the whole earth, because it was made for hardheartedness.
With a new president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, let us pray that the Ecuadorians find some relief. Correa has a doctorate in economics. Perhaps he knows something. He wants the oil companies to pay more for the sake of the poor in Ecuador. He's also expressed a serious interest in environmental protection. Let us also pray that Angola finds peace after all its wasted years of war all of it caused directly by the spirit of greed.
However, all the oil nations must understand that they cannot depend upon oil to lift the poor. Oil is a sword to kill the whole of humanity both rich and poor alike.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
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Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
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- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
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Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)