Oil : A Long Standing Territorial Dispute

1965 Words8 Pages
In 1967, oil was discovered in Ecuador ushering in an era of newfound wealth and economic prosperity. In the forty-seven years since that first discovery by Texaco, Ecuador’s oil revenues have grown to account for one-third of total government income and fifty percent of the total export revenue (Adkins). However, over much of the past four decades, government mismanagement of oil revenue, poor financial decisions and an overreliance on foreign and corporate oil companies have created a $14 billion debt to the international community. While oil is now the economic lifeline of this small country, many people in Ecuador have realized no perceptible benefits from oil extraction and production. The social and economic pressures for increased…show more content…
Lacking the monetary resources and technical expertise to move forward, Ecuador initially allowed Texaco to develop the country’s first petroleum infrastructure (Dabbs). It is through this lens of securing its land claim against Peru in the Oriente while simultaneously acquiring economic power through oil, that Ecuador began a legacy of environmental miscues. The carelessness of early oil exploration of the late 1960’s would soon give way to dependence on oil earnings to fund the national budget that continues to this day. Critics warned from the inception of the Amazonian oil boom, that the habitat Ecuador emphatically worked to secure and cultivate would be negatively impacted by unabated development. Unfortunately, the political decisions impacting Ecuador’s environment were driven by geopolitics and money with little regard for the long-term economic consequences of spoiling an environmental treasure. To highlight this point, it was not until 1990, 23 years after beginning oil production in the Amazon, that the Ecuadoran government finally approved any substantiate, clear-cut environmental legislation (Armstrong). Regrettably, however, the damage had already been done. Without clear, agreed upon metrics it is arguably a matter of perspective as how to rank the worlds’ worst oil-related disasters. Living in North America, one may recount the Exxon Valdez spill or
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