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2003-08-05

Vote Looms for Financing of Oil Pipeline in Peru

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The main beneficiaries of the project are a subsidiary of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and Hunt Oil Company, whose vice president was a top energy advisor to George W. Bush. Construction of the pipeline is causing forest erosion, landslides, spreading non-indigenous diseases, and creating a shortage of food supplies in the region.

Two banks funded by US taxpayer dollars will soon decide whether to go ahead with the Camisea Gas Project in Peru. Indigenous groups and environmental activists call the project destructive and financially unstable.

The board of the Inter-American Development Bank is set to vote tomorrow on whether to go ahead with a loan to finance the project. The US Export Import Bank together with the IDB could provide 300 million dollars in loans to pave the way for financing the 1.6 billion dollar project. The main beneficiaries of the project are two Texas oil companies, Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and Hunt Oil Company, whose vice president was a top energy advisor to George W. Bush.

Halliburton is lined up to get the billion-dollar contract for a coastline processing facility and Hunt Oil is a primary partner in the consortium of oil companies building the pipeline.

Two major investors in the Camisea Project, Citigroup and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, have already pulled out citing environmental and financial concerns.

A consultant’s report for the Export Import Bank, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, reveals that the project violates the bank’s standards and that the environmental assessments are "woefully inadequate." The US Agency for International Development issued a statement opposing the project, and more than a dozen senators, led by Patrick Leahy of Vermont, wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary John Snow urging that the project be put on hold unless fundamental changes are made and environmental damage is reversed.

With the pipeline 60-70% complete, a report out from Amazon Watch says there is already significant damage to ecosystems and local indigenous populations. Construction of the pipeline is causing forest erosion, landslides, spreading non-indigenous diseases, and creating a shortage of food supplies in the region.

Key pristine rainforests are affected, and an export terminal on the coast would damage the vital Paracas Marine Reserve. A coalition of indigenous, conservation, and other organizations in Peru are organizing against the Camisea Project and in the US, environmental and human rights groups are pushing EXIM and the IDB to postpone decisions on funding until further review and public comment are undertaken.

  • "The Camisea Project: Risky Business" excerpts from a documentary film by Amazon Watch.
  • Atossa Soltani, the President of Amazon Watch, which is spearheading the international campaign to halt the Camisea Gas Project.

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