People, Environment

Revenue From Oil Contracts to Bolster Environmental Measures

Revenue From Oil Contracts to Bolster Environmental MeasuresRevenue From Oil Contracts to Bolster Environmental Measures

Three percent of revenue from every oil contract will be used to implement environmental protection measures, according to Iran’s chief environment official.

Speaking at a conference in Tehran on Monday, Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of the Department of Environment, said the measure was approved last week as part of the Budget Bill for the next Iranian year (starting March 21), ISNA reported.

“This is an important environmental step and can help oil-rich regions, particularly Khuzestan Province and Asalouyeh [in Bushehr Province],” she added.

While in theory, this is a major step forward, only time will show what environmental problems of which region get this revenue.

The announcement comes amid growing criticism toward the Oil Ministry, which is accused of failing to prevent and minimize environmental problems caused by oil drilling activities.

Outdated oil exploration and extraction methods are blamed for the desiccation of Hoor al-Azim Wetland in Khuzestan, which is said to be the largest source of dust storms in the province, if not western Iran.

Last month, Mohammad Darvish, the head of Public Participation Office at DOE, noted that the annual environmental tax paid by Abadan Refinery, the largest in the province, “is only 820 billion rials ($21.5 million), which is only a fraction of the refinery’s revenue”.

The government has earmarked $100 million to combat dust and sand storms in Khuzestan Province in the next Iranian year.

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