- The Washington Times - Friday, August 16, 2013

Ecuador had high hopes of saving its rainforests with an energy policy that relied on rich countries to pay the government not to drill for oil in the Amazon. But those hopes were dashed when the wealthy countries didn’t come through with the cash.

On Thursday, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said he was abandoning his 2007 no-drill policy proposal, The Associated Press reported. Why? Supporters of the plan never came through with promised cash, he said.

Environmentally conscious countries that first hailed the no-drill plan and that had promised to help pay to keep the country afloat have only provided $13 million of the $3.6 billion Mr. Correa sought in donations.

“The world has failed us,” he said, during a televised speech in which he outed the “great hypocrisy” of the nations that failed to come through with the money. “It was not charity that we sought from the international community but co-responsibility in the face of climate change.”

Ecuador is a member of OPEC. The country’s many oil fields provide a third of its national budget.

Mr. Correa said on Thursday that he now has an obligation to his people to go ahead with rainforest-area drilling.

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