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.