Chevron's Legacy

Chevron's Legacy
The Pollution Chevron Left Behind...Shushufindi pit 38. Chevron's scientists found no contamination at this pit.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chevron Can Solve Its Argentina Problem: Pay The Judgment

Chevron's head of operations in Argentina has complained to the Ecuadorians, who recently won a $19 billion judgment against the company for massive oil contamination, that future exploration and drilling is threatened in Argentina because of a local court's decision to freeze its assets.

Efe News Service quoted Miguel Galluccio, Chevron's guy in the South American country, warning that the freeze resulting directly from Chevron's refusal to pay the Ecuador judgment "is absolutely detrimental to Argentina and could have a negative effect on investment."

Ok, Miguel, then convince your company to pay the judgment. You've got the money. It's that simple. Problem solved.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Third Chevron Spill In Utah Bigger Than Thought -- Why Are We Not Surprised

Chevron's third spill in Utah in as many years is much bigger than the oil giant indicated initially. Why are we not surprised?

Chevron always downplays the impact of its drilling and exploration practices on the environment and human health.

One expert, John Connor, has even testified that he has never found any evidence that Chevron's drilling has harmed anyone or anything EVER.

He's been paid at least $8 million for his testimony and expert opinion. Wonder if that had anything to do with it?

See this press release about his testimony.

And, see this recent article about the Utah spill.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More Chevron Spies & Lies

This Huffington Post blog is the stuff of spy novels and would be hard to believe if it all hadn't been so well-documented.

In the blog, Karen Hinton offers up a compilation of some of the dirty tricks played by Chevron's private investigative firms that have been hired to discredit the $19 billion judgment against the company for oil contamination.

A short excerpt reads:
The Chevron Corporation has spied and -- perhaps is still spying -- on the Republic of Ecuador, fueling a fierce battle between the oil giant and President Rafael Correa, who is calling on other South American countries to hold Chevron accountable for the world's largest oil-related disaster in the Ecuadorian rainforest. 
Fearing the loss of an historic, long-running environmental lawsuit in the Ecuadorian rainforest in 2009, Chevron secretly videotaped the judge hearing the case - with a spy pen and spy watch - in an effort to derail the trial by entrapping him, government officials and indigenous community leaders in a faked bribery scandal. 
It goes without saying that if Chevron had been caught trying to secretly videotape a U.S. judge, it would be facing criminal charges.
Read the entire blog here.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

SEC Tries To Silence Chevron Shareholders

Not surprisingly, the Securities and Exchange Commission has rubber stamped Chevron's request to remove a shareholder resolution from consideration at its annual shareholders meeting that would have stripped John Watson of his Chairman's title and responsibilities. Watson currently is the CEO and Chairman.

The SEC decision makes it look like the corporate tool it is, and Chevron, well, the corporate thug readers of The Chevron Pit have come to know.

A growing number of shareholders are concerned about the way Chevron is handling the $19 billion Ecuador judgment for massive oil contamination facing the company and have proposed a resolution to hold top executives more accountable by splitting the role of Chair and CEO, as many other companies have done.  Last year, a similar resolution won the support of 38 percent of Chevron shareholders.

Today, though, the SEC big footed Chevron's request, depriving shareholders an opportunity to vote on the resolution again. The move is in keeping with SEC's weak oversight of corporate America in general and an attempt to silence shareholders.

It will, however, take more than the SEC to silence these shareholders, some of whom have been subpoenaed by Chevron in its desperate legal attacks in the U.S. to stop enforcement of the judgment.

Two other resolutions will be voted on by shareholders:  one to appoint an environmental expert to the board and the other to explain why Chevron has subpoenaed several shareholder groups, including Trillium Asset Management, along with several dozen environmentalists, law students and summer interns.

See this New York Times article by Gretchen Morgenson and a San Francisco Chronicle article by David Baker.

Expect to see shareholders out in full force at the May 29th meeting without the resolution, but resolute to hold Chevron accountable for its environmental crimes.


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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chevron Boxes Itself In With SEC Move

Chevron's decision to ask the SEC to allow it to dropkick shareholder resolutions calling for the duties of Chairman and CEO to be split -- essentially demoting current Chair and CEO John Watson -- has boxed the oil giant into a public relations defeat.

It's a  lose-lose proposition for the multi-national corporation.

The shareholders are concerned about the way Watson and other Chevron executives have handled the $19 billion judgment against the company for massive oil contamination in the Ecuadorian rainforest. Watson and his 2,000 lawyers and legal assistants are spending hundreds of millions of dollars working on a legal attack to stop enforcement of the judgment.

The contamination is obvious. Everyone agrees Chevron's predecessor Texaco put it there. The people suffering are impoverished indigenous tribes and farmers who brought the original lawsuit 20 years ago. As the years have passed, Chevron has suffered from negative publicity casting it as an oil company concerned only about profits.

A growing number of shareholders are saying enough is enough.

Instead of finding a way out of the environmental nightmare, Chevron digs itself deeper into a hole with its SEC request to trounce on its shareholders, by nixing their resolutions and even subpoenaing them in its legal battles.

David Baker in today's San Francisco Chronicle describes the situation, and it's clear from his article that if the SEC rules in Chevron's favor, it will make the company look like the corporate thug that it is. Plus, it won't stop the shareholders from protesting at their annual meeting.

And, if the SEC doesn't, then the shareholders can once again introduce their resolutions and, likely, increase their vote tally, as they have done year after year.

Smart move, Chevron.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What Happens When Big Oil Freaks Out


Chevron Spending $400 Million A Year On Ecuador Case, Subsidized By U.S Government?

Since 2011, when an Ecuadorian court found Chevron guilty of widespread contamination of the Amazon rain forest and ordered the oil giant to pay $19 billion in damages, Chevron has been spending around $400 million annually on 2,000 legal experts from 60 law firms to evade paying the judgment, according to a recent court filing.

But, for all the money and all the lawyers, Chevron is facing enforcement actions in four countries -- Ecuador, Canada, Argentina, and Brazil – where the Ecuadorians could seize their billions from Chevron’s assets. And, Chevron continues to lose in U.S. courts on the merits. See here.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports today that Chevron has received $2.6 billion in federal tax-free bonds to expand a refinery in Mississippi. The New York Times said Chevron has received more than any U.S.-based corporation and described it as "sweetheart rates for corporations."

What this means is the U.S. federal government is subsidizing Chevron's legal bills as a result of its misconduct in Ecuador, not to mention litigation and accusations Chevron has been defending in Brazil, California, Angola, Nigeria and other places across the globe. See here. 

In a desperate attempt to stop enforcement of the $19 billion judgment, Chevron has accused the Ecuadorian villagers and their lawyers for “fraud” and sued them in about 20 different U.S. court jurisdictions, filing hundreds of legal motions and millions of pages of discovery documents and taking over 40 depositions from experts and consultants -- all designed to distract from the 16 billion gallons of toxic production water it dumped into the Ecuadorian rainforest and the 900 unlined pits Chevron built to store permanently pure crude oil. 

For more details, read this press release.


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