Oil Injustice examines the mobilization efforts of four communities with different oil histories in response to the construction of an oil pipeline. Using multiple sites in Ecuador as case studies, Patricia Widener examines the efforts of grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, activist mayors, and transnational advocates that mobilized to redefine the country's oil path and to represent the voice of many local communities and organizations that sought to offer an alternative to the nation's oil dependency and to the use of its oil wealth. These groups generated divergent and at times rival reactions to the pipeline, though at their core, the multiple campaigns developed from a shared history and awareness of a number of marginalized communities and degraded environments in areas most important to the oil process. Widener shows that global environmental justice demands are bound within a capitalist political system, where community activists, national NGOs and their international allies are forced to seek local change rather than attempt to defeat a disabling and unequal system.
"In Oil Injustice, Widener skillfully exposes the global political economy as a bully that systematically and strategically exploits both the world's natural resources and its poorest citizens. Seemingly beyond reproach 'the fight continues' as a latter day David and Goliath struggle by local and transnational activists to effect systemic change."—Julian Agyeman, Tufts University; author of Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice