Venezuela Is Leaking Oil Everywhere and Making a Dangerous Mess
One side effect of the ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela is, increasingly, its decreasing capacity for maintaining its oil infrastructure and cleaning up leaks and spills. Corruption and minimal investment has resulted in crumbling infrastructure across the country that relies on oil sales for nearly half of its budget. The state has not released statistics or estimates, but analysts and citizens have developed long lists of past and ongoing spills that suggest leakage on a massive scale, to the extent that waterways, farmland, and even aquifers have likely been polluted. While official policy of the state company concerning pollution is strict, many cases of spills and leaks have been documented to be left untouched more than 10 months after their initial documentation. Workers have claimed that some contractors working in the cleanup space have gone bankrupt after the state oil company failed to pay them. With little publicly available information and data largely coming from disparate sources, it is difficult to know the extent of the leaks and the impact they will have on the environment, economy, and health in the country.