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Tuesday, Jan 16th

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You are here News Energy Quest for oil leaves trail of damage across the globe

Quest for oil leaves trail of damage across the globe

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Baloa Gbone stands at the site of an oil spill in Nigeria's Delta region.Across the globe, people such as Harpe in oil-producing regions are watching the catastrophe in the Gulf with a mixture of horror, hope and resignation. To some, the black tide is a global event that finally may awaken the world to the real cost of oil.

"This is a call to attention for all humanity," said Pablo Fajardo, a lawyer in Ecuador who's suing Chevron over oil pollution in the Amazon on behalf of 30,000 plaintiffs.

"Oil has a price," he added, "but water, life and a clean environment are worth much more."

Others say previous oil disasters haven't changed things much, and this one won't, either.

"We're addicted to oil, so the beat will go on," said Richard Thomas, an environmentalist in Newfoundland, Canada, where drilling rigs pepper the coast. "Oil companies will make absolutely sure we don't check ourselves into hydrocarbon rehab anytime soon."

There's no denying that the rust-red plumes of oil and tar balls in the Gulf of Mexico are a potential ecological calamity for American Southern shores. More than half the petroleum consumed in this country, however, is imported from other countries, where damage from exploration and drilling is more common but goes largely unnoticed.

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