Image # 9819
Ecuador's Controversial Pipeline Project Given Green Light
A cow peers from a cloud forest on the controversial route of Ecuador's new petroleum pipeline. Although the $1.1 billion pipeline will double Ecudor's ability to transport crude oil, the pipeline will cut through the Nono-Tandayapa-Mindo cloud forest, including the heart of the Mindo-Nambillo ecological reserve - home to 450 species of birds. Indians, environmentalists and tourism groups filed an appeal of the route in June, but the Constitutional Tribunal has decided to allow OCP Ecuador SA to continue with its original construction plan. Members of the multinational consortium include the Alberta Energy Co. Ltd., Kerr-McGee Corp., and Occidental Petroleum Corp. Westdeutsche Landesbank is the project's largest lender. Locals living in communities affected by the 300-mile pipeline worry that tourism and cattle ranching will be adversely affected by the construction and operation of the line.