Fracking the Amazon

Last week, Brazil announced that it would be auctioning off hundreds of fracking blocks across the country, including deep in the Amazon where indigenous peoples call home. According to the magazine The Ecologist, bidders include BP, Shell and ExxonMobil.

This is cause for concern. The negative impacts on the environment and health of  communities in the areas surrounding fracking operations in the United States, the frontier of fracking, has been widely reported in documentaries such as Gasland by Director Josh Fox as well as NGOs like the Center for Environment and Human Rights and AIDA. More recently the abuses of worker’s rights by companies involved in fracking have gained notoriety thanks to Josh Fox’s latest documentary, Gasworks.

Given fracking’s track record, the Coalizão Não Fracking Brasil (COESUS), a coalition of environmentalists, scientists, geologists, hydrologists, engineers, biologists and public officials, is calling for the fracking industry to be kept out of indigenous territories. Besides concerns over the usual impacts associated with fracking, some argue that fracking in the Amazon represents a threat to the survival and culture of indigenous peoples in the area. Leaders are now organizing a broad protest movement to fight the decision of the Brazilian government on fracking.

For more, read this piece by The Ecologist.


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