May 24, 2006

Nationalized oil and the environment

The Financial Times reports (found via Johan Norberg) on the reaction of local villagers to the takeover of an Occidental (Oxy) oil field by the state-run Petroecuador:
“Oxy was responsive to our requests,” says Enoc Cerda, the school’s rector. “We asked them to limit work at night and they did so. And they were pretty quick about responding to environmental problems.” [...] “We know how Petroecuador works,” says Mr Cerda. “They damage the environment and don’t help local communities. Petroecuador has brought destruction wherever it has operated.”
Johan Norberg also
reminds us that
most OPEC-countries didn't nationalise their oil until the early 1970s. Between 1950 and 1973 these countries got more than 4 percent richer every year, 1973-2003 they got almost 1 percent poorer every year.

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