The sun is shining a wee bit brighter this morning, as the nation of Brazil has decided to defend their ocean ecosystem against the kind of rapacious corporate wankery that we Americans have come to see as perfectly normal in our own environs.
Via CommonDreams, it seems 17 Transocean and Chevron executives were prevented from leaving Brazil, so they could be charged with Crimes Against Nature. If convicted, they face upwards of 31 years in prison.
Eduardo Santos de Oliveira, the lead prosecutor for the case, toldReuters he was tired of oil companies escaping accountability, including large fines and jail time, for environmental crimes. ”We need to change the parameters,” he said. “If companies don’t listen to millions, we have to ask for billions.”
Oliveira accused the oilmen of creating a “contamination time bomb.” While the spill was not enormous compared to very large spills like Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, Oliveira says Chevron’s subsea oil reservoir was damaged by reckless drilling, raising the specter of future catastrophic leaks.
Brazilian authorities estimate that 2,400 barrels of crude were spilled, which led authorities to suspend all of Chevron’s drilling operations and to deny the company access to huge new offshore fields. Evidence shows that oil seapage continues near the drill site, furthering fears that the damage is much worse than first thought, and certainly more negatively impactful than Chevron and Transocean have argued.
For a mere 2,400 barrels of spillage, people face prison time and billions in reparations. Imagine that!
In the US, of course, spilling millions of barrels of crude into the oceans that give us sustenance, results in federal guarantees of future profits, tax cuts, bonuses and overt protection from future prosecution. This, of course, is only one of many reasons why our country is in decline. In the US, crime definitely pays.
Brazil, on the other hand, is a rising economy and in this case, it shows in a very positive fashion. It seems they have an interest in protecting that which they depend on for food. What a concept!