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Venezuela: America's Oil Pump.

VENEZUELA -- Members of the Orinoco Oil Watch (OOW) have written to the White House asking President Clinton how he can square his promises to reduce US emissions of planet-warming industrial gases with his support for multinational oil companies.

"With the active support of the US government, we are being invaded by an avalanche of oil companies from your country," OOW declared. Under the so-called "Oil Opening" plan, Venezuela must double its oil production to 6,000,000 barrels a day within ten years, thereby becoming the US' main source of oil.

"Lake Maracaibo, once South America's largest fresh water reservoir [is now] severely polluted from 70 years of oil exploitation by US companies and our own oil industry," OOW's letter reads. The new US-backed oil boom threatens the coastal mangrove ecosystem of the Orionco Delta, a Biosphere Reserve. The Gulf of Paria is at risk from expanded operations of Amoco, Conoco, Mobil, Enron and others.

"We don't understand why the clamor of indigenous peoples such as the Warao. Uykpa and Bari, or the fishermen of Lake Maracaibo, calling for a halt on the new oil ecocide may go unheeded in a country which is said to be democratic," Oilwatch wrote.

"The Venezuelan Oil Opening has been noisily promoted in the name of `a great national progress' and of `world economic globalization'" but it is fundamentally a strategic move intended to serve "the imperative necessity to meet a growing consumption by the North."

For our own sake, and for the fate of the Earth, the letter begs Clinton to abandon America's "suicidal addiction to the hyperconsumption of oil."
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Publication:Earth Island Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:3VENE
Date:Mar 22, 2000
Words:267
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