Bidders have until July 16 to place bids on 16 oil concessions, which translates to over 3 million hectares of rainforest potentially being pillaged by oil and gas investors. In the tenth oil round in 2011—when only six blocks were up for auction—sales were halted by indigenous activism.
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However, if Deepwater Horizon and a slew of other warnings from history are anything to go by, devastating environmental damage isn't much of a concern to big oil. This year, Ecuador is set to have its 11th oil round—the 11th time the government has tried to sell off its share of the Amazon to foreign investors—and the most probable buyer is China. If the auction completes, all the nasty contamination that comes with dropping gas-guzzling machinery into the middle of a rainforest will likely threaten the lives of the area's indigenous people and the natural habitat of thousands of species of living things.
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