Left-wing politics from the US to Nepal, via Zimbabwe, South America and Palestine.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Oil Pollution in Iraq

According to the New York Times, an oil-refinement byproduct, black oil, is being dumped in large quantities in Northern Iraq. Until very recently, it was on fire:
"An environmental disaster is brewing in the heartland of Iraq's northern Sunni-led insurgency, where Iraqi officials say that in a desperate move to dispose of millions of barrels of an oil refinery byproduct called "black oil," the government pumped it into open mountain valleys and leaky reservoirs next to the Tigris River and set it on fire."
Here's the problem: this stuff is produced everywhere and can normally be refined further to make more, say, petrol. However, Iraq's refineries are old and outdated and cannot be upgraded due to insurgent attacks. Nor can the black oil be exported, since there are not enough trucks in the area, and those that are there could be easily attacked on the roads. US officials say:
"...the black oil could be taken out by truck, and that one of the state-owned marketing companies had undertaken to do so."

Meanwhile, 36,000 barrels of this nasty crap are being produced every day. As of now, they're no longer on fire. How nice.


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