Energy, Mining & Utilities
On Thursday, the supreme administrative court ruled that the planned sale of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), to raise an estimated 892.5 million US dollars, was illegal.
According to insiders and to documents obtained from the State Department, the neocons, once in command, are now in full retreat. Iraq's system of oil production, after a year of failed free-market experimentation, is being re-created almost entirely on the lines originally laid out by Saddam Hussein.
New logging permits were suspended Friday in a huge Amazon state where the rain forest is being cleared at an ever increasing rate, a day after police launched a crackdown on official corruption.
When Chevron learned that "60 Minutes" was preparing a potentially damaging report about oil company contamination of the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador, it hired a former journalist to produce a mirror image of the report, from the corporation's point of view. An Ecuadorean judge is expected to rule soon on whether Chevron owes up to $27 billion in damages.
In a landmark case, Chile's Supreme Court ruled this week that the state must compensate 356 residents of two slums in the northern mining city of Arica for health problems brought on by years of exposure to open deposits of toxic waste. Promel, the Swedish company responsible for the importation of the toxic materials, cannot compensate the plaintiffs because the company no longer exists.
Health Minister K.K. Ramachandran on Monday said the Government "would not allow the bottling plant of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. at Plachimada to reopen against the will of the people." (Mr. Ramachandran is the first Minister to have visited Plachimada where the local people have been waging an agitation for the last three years demanding the closure of the company for allegedly exploiting the groundwater, leading to shortage of water for drinking and irrigation purposes.)
Having ensured the continued flow of cheap oil from the Gulf by waging a war with Iraq, and after his boss, George Bush's ouster from office by Clinton in 1992, Dick Cheney turned his attention to the corporate world.
Protestors targeted annual general meetings of Enbridge and Bank of America this week for the devastating environmental consequences of extracting energy from two new and unconventional sources: tar sands and mountain top coal.
IOI, the second largest producer of palm oil in Malaysia, has been kicked out of an industry group that certifies sustainability practices, for environmental and labor violations. As a result, dozens of companies, including the makers of Dove soap, M&M's and Kellogg's Corn Flakes, have stopped buying from IOI.