The Atlantic has a powerful photo gallery showing the effects of the completely unregulated exploitation of Nigerian oil by multinational energy corporations like Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon-Mobil, and Chevron. The oil companies use their economic clout to freely corrupt the Nigerian political process, giving them free reign to operate as cheaply and carelessly as they want, leaving petroleum-stained lands, oil spills, and leaky infrastructure in their wake. While the corrupt Nigerian elite gets rich, the poor get nothing and are left to deal with the polluted aftermath, making it even harder for them to improve their lives. The country and its people are being poisoned by oil.
Shell Nigeria went as far as to fund the Nigerian Army to brutally suppress and crush any resistance to their operations. Protests were put down violently and organized attacks were made on villages thought to oppose the company. Thousands of people were murdered on Shell's dime including environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa who was hanged, along with other activists, by the military government at the behest of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group.
Think of Nigeria the next time you hear a politician, business executive, or media figure advocating for less regulation on oil and energy companies. There is no bottom for companies willing to fund murder to protect profits. Give them an inch and they will kill for a mile.
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