Amazon Action Alert: Oil and gas drilling leases granted to vast portions of the Western Amazon near here

© Brian O'Leary, Ph.D., August 2008,

The Save Yasuni effort pales before looking at the situation over the entire western Amazon region just to the east of us here. According to a recent study--whose report can be downloaded from this link--oil exploration, drilling and road-buiding leases have been granted to over two-thirds of both the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon, an area nearly 100 times vaster than the Yasuni's controversial oil-leased blocks and larger than all of Ecuador itself:

In the article, if you click on "Detailed mapping of the region", you can download the report. Note especially Figure 2, which is also attached here.

A pdf version of this excellent study, entitled OIL AND GAS PROJECTS IN THE WESTERN AMAZON, can be downloaded from this website:

We here in Vilcabamba have a constant supply of rain from one of the richest, most biodiverse, carbon-sequestering lungs of the Earth--the Western Amazon--and with the few remaining voluntarily-isolated indigenous peoples vulnerable to diseases when contacted. The desertification of vast areas of the Western Amazon would be virtually assured if these regions were to be drilled and roads built haphazardly by the more than 35 multinational oil-gas companies to whom the leases have been or are being granted.

The attached figure shows that if you go east of here about 100-300 miles, you're in Peru in the midst of one of the largest mostly contiguous sets of leased oil-and-gas-drilling blocks in the world, comprising an area about the size of Texas. The implications are huge, whether looked at from a NIMBY or global point of view, it can't help but want us to take action. Not only should we insist on a moratorium on all exploration and drilling, we must bring to public attention the possibility of rapidly developing clean breakthrough energy sources that would render hydrocarbons obsolete.

Oil and gas blocks in the western Amazon


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