Environmental and economic impact
Mining and oil operations can have serious economic implications for a community. Large projects attract economic migrants, place heavy demands on municipal services, and put stress on local government agencies.
In general, mining and petroleum projects are capital-intensive, not labor-intensive. Purchases by companies working in local areas are minimal, as global companies bring in supplies from other regions and even overseas. Although an oil or mining company sometimes invests in local school programs and other services, these benefits must be weighed against the environmental damage and negative health effects the community suffers long after the mine or oil well is abandoned and the company pulls out.
Oil exploration is a specialized activity, and if wells are drilled, they do not require very much labor from the local work force. Community members are usually relegated to low-paying support services.
Many governments suffering from unsustainable debt must rely on oil and mineral exports to pay back loans from international financial institutions. The negative effects of mining and oil drilling are not always fully examined when such loans are considered—and cash-strapped governments are not always inclined to consider other options.