The Case of Chevron
Publication Type:Web Article
Source:Friends of the Earth (2011)
According to the EPA's National Emission Inventory, Chevron was responsible for 4,030,422.95 pounds of green house gas emission pollution in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana in 2002.
Chevron was the first international oil company to operate in Nigeria and has, for almost 40 years of operations there, practiced the wasteful process of burning off of gas associated with oil drilling.
This gas flaring has resulted in the flaring of billions of cubic feet of natural gas. These flares have and are wrecking havoc on the air and water quality in the Niger Delta. Communities living near the flares are suffering from a myriad of health issues and are more likely to get cancer and suffer from asthma as a result of breathing flare smoke. Many flares have been burning for over 20 years and in locations only a few hundred yards from the center of the nearest village.
According to the Canadian Public Health Association, gas flares contain as many as 250 toxins and their smoke emits particulate matter---including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxides and carcinogenic substances as well as unburned fuel components, including benzene, toluene, xylene, and hydrogen sulfide. Exposure to benzene and its metabolites causes acute nonlymphocytic leukemia and a variety of other blood-related disorders in humans.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency Flare smoke can cause aggravated asthma, increases in respiratory symptoms like coughing and difficult or painful breathing, chronic bronchitis, decreased lung function, and premature death.
Gas Flaring also causes acid rain, corroding roofs, acidifying lakes and streams and damaging vegetation. This acid rain, combined with frequent oil spills--totaling more than 10 Exxon Valdez spills--and dumping of toxic drilling waters into rivers has severely depleted fish stocks, which the people of the Delta rely on.
See: Poison Fire