Target: The Obama administration
Goal: To call for the US government to display less tolerance and permissiveness toward oil companies in the event of a spill.
After the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that resulted in 50 million barrels of oil being released into the ocean, another spill occurred in a deep-sea oil well operated by Chevron off the coast of Brazil. That spill was contained to 2,400 barrels, .0048% as many as the BP spill, as Chevron handled the situation promptly and effectively.
However, the Brazilian government has nonetheless sued Chevron for billions of dollars as it acted according to its “zero tolerance” policy regarding oil spills. The reaction among the Brazilian public was no less indignant. “We’re going to show this gang that they can’t come down here and create whatever environmental mess they want, said Carlos Minc, a co-founder of Brazil’s Green Party and environmental secretary of Rio state. “I want to see the CEO of Chevron to swim in that oil.”
As we continue to witness the devastating environmental effects of the BP spill, we must begin to follow Brazil’s example and urge the Obama administration to adopt a more stringent policy that reduces the government’s display of tolerance for oil spills and the environmental disasters that result.
Brazil’s largest oil workers union has also filed a suit against Chevron calling for the court to force Chevron to give up one of its largest oil fields that produces up to 80,000 barrels per day and accusing Chevron of engaging in “predatory and environmentally unsound practices.”
The “zero tolerance” policy pursued by the Brazilian government rests upon Brazil’s oil independence, which is possible because of the country’s high rate of ethanol production. The Brazilian government doesn’t need to buy oil from Chevron, so it can afford to press charges against the company. Despite the American addiction to oil, the preservation of important ocean ecosystems may depend on a less tolerant oil spill policy. Sign the petition below to tell the Obama administration that protecting the environment should come before protecting oil companies.
Dear Obama administration,
The recent Chevron oil spill that occurred off the coast of Brazil spurred an indignant reaction among Brazilian officials and citizens. The spill was contained at 2,400 barrels, only .0048% as many as the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf. But Chevron nonetheless faces charges from the Brazilian government as well as from Brazil’s largest oil workers union.
As we continue to witness the devastating environmental effects of the Gulf spill, I hope that you will adopt a more stringent policy that displays less tolerance toward oil spills in the future. I ask that you consider the reaction of Brazilian officials and citizens to be a reminder that protecting the environment should come before protecting oil companies.
[Your Name Here]