Chevron keeps saying it is not responsible for the mess Texaco left in the Ecuadorian jungle because Texaco left Ecuador 20 years ago. Why Chevron makes this argument is beyond my comprehension. The lawsuit is about the damage that was done by Texaco when it was operating in Ecuador between 1964 and 1992. It’s about over 900of Texaco’s substandard waste pits that continue to ooze oily slime into the soil and underground water, making people sick and causing them to die from cancer! The fact that Texaco left without cleaning it up just shows how little the company cares about the environment and the Ecuadorian people.
For ten years in a US court, Texaco and then Chevron argued the case should be moved to Ecuador. The US court agreed, after both oil companies praised Ecuador’s courts for their fairness and independence. Promptly, the plaintiffs re-filed the exact, same lawsuit in Lago Agrio in 2003 — again for damages stemming from Texaco’s intentional and purposeful contamination of the Amazon rainforest. When evidence began to incriminate Chevron, the oil company’s views changed, and Chevron wanted out of Ecuador. Through its high-priced public relations and lobbying firms, Chevron began to disseminate inaccurate and misleading information to American politicians and journalists.
Most discount Chevron’s spin, which doesn’t stop Chevron from blaming Petroecuador. But this lawsuit is not about Petroecuador’s actions. Nothing in the lawsuit holds Chevron accountable for any action by Petroecuador unrelated to Texaco’s operations. As I understand, Chevron has the legal right to sue Petroecuador, if Chevron is convinced that the state-owned company shares responsibility. I also understand that Chevron tried to pull Petroecuador into the lawsuit through related litigation filed in US courts and has failed each time.