How to Make Money From Undrilled Oil

There’s carbon taxes. There’s cap-and-trade. But Ecuador’s Minister of

Energy and Mines, Alberto Acosta, has an even better idea for reducing carbon

emissions: don’t even develop the oil fields in the first place! The AP’s Gonzalo

Solano explains

the idea:

President Rafael Correa said Ecuador is seeking some $350 million annually

for 10 years to not drill for oil in Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha (ITT) fields,

located in the Yasuni National Park deep in Ecuador’s northeastern jungle.

The jungle area, which holds close to 1 billion barrels of crude, is a UNESCO

Biosphere Reserve known for its rich variety of flora and fauna. Some environmentalists

say there is more plant life in the reserve – about the size of Puerto Rico

– than in the United States and Canada combined.


Turner has more details:

By leaving the crude underground and untouched, planet Earth will be spared

around 108 million tonnes per year of atmospheric carbon dioxide pollution

as well as the $4bn it would need to clean up the site once all oil were exhausted.

It would protect the Amazon basin rainforest where ITT lies, stop any localised

emissions from interfering with ecosystems and weather patterns and also go

a long way to help protect the local indigenous communities, particularly

three tribes of local peoples that have chosen not to have any contact with

the outside world if at all possible.

The developed world has one year to make this happen. $350 million per year

is really not all that much – I can think of a few hedge fund managers

who pay that in income tax. Who’s going to take the lead and pledge some cash?

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