The Amazon rainforest in South America is often called the “Lungs of the Earth” because it cycles almost 20 percent of the world’s oxygen. However, the expanding oil extraction in the region is destroying the Amazon Basin at a rapid pace.
What’s even worse is the fact that the United States is one of the biggest importers of Amazon crude oil. According to a recently released study by nonprofit organization Amazon Watch, American refineries processed 230,293 barrels of rainforest-destroying fossil fuel every day in 2015.
In fact, California alone refines an average of 170,978 barrels of crude oil a day. The Chevron facility in El Segundo accounts for 24 percent of the U.S. total.
“California’s refineries are the worst offenders, processing an average of 170,978 barrels (7.2 million gallons) of Amazon crude every day. The state processes roughly 60% of all exports of Amazon crude from Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, and 74% of those that come to the United States,” the researchers stated. “Every large public and private fleet in California uses diesel that is at least partly derived from Amazon crude, as do many outside of the state and country.”
The study, titled “From Well to Wheel: The Social, Environmental, and Climate Costs of Amazon Crude,” also revealed that continuous oil spills have caused a number of natives to suffer from high level of toxic metal poisoning.
Find out more in the video above.