Friday, December 30, 2011

Chevron Dodging Explanations About Its Misconduct Again

Anytime I read "no comment" or "refused to answer questions," I am immediately suspect. More often than not, Chevron clams up when questions get tough and direct. See this Chevron Pit for another example of the company dodging explanations about their misconduct in Ecuador, where the company faces an $18 billion judgment for one of the world's worst environmental disasters ever.

Friday, December 23, 2011

If You Can't Win In Court, Bribe Your Way Out Of It.

The Chevron Pit is reporting that Chevron spokesperson James Craig didn't deny that Chevron tried to "donate" $1 billion to Ecuador in exchange for the killing $18 billion lawsuit. Another classic oil company move: If you can't win in court, bribe your way out of it. Doesn't sound like it worked this time.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chevron wants to "Donate" money to Ecuador

Give me a break! Chevron wants to "donate" money to Ecuador to help protect the rainforest. Right. Chevron has been fighting a lawsuit to help residents of the area the Chevron contaminated with 18 billion gallons of toxic water and oil. An Ecuador judge sticks the company with an $18 billion judgment, and now Chevron wants the government of Ecuador to get the judgment squashed in exchange for $500 million. Let's hope the government stands up to the oil giant. Here is a blog all about it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Defending Chevron

Ecuadorians living in the region of the Amazon that was polluted by toxins deliberately dumped by Chevron there, are dying of cancer and other oil related diseases. The oil giant has brought no relief to them and refuses to properly clean up the sludge that is contaminating the land they depend on for survival. It is a tragedy, both humanitarian and environmental and Chevron was found guilty of causing it. You’d think people would be outraged by Chevron’s behavior but apparently for a little bit of money, you can find supporters no matter how sordid your crime is. Look at the law firm-Gibson Dunn- that is defending Chevron. The money that should be put towards cleaning up the mess in Ecuador is going into the pockets of Gibson Dunn’s lawyers and they, just like Chevron, won’t stop at anything. The law firm that will break the law to help Chevron evade responsibility.

Visit Chevron Pit to find out more about Gibson Dunn.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Damage Control

Just a few months after Wikileaks cables exposed a pretty close relationship between Chevron and U.S. Embassy in Ecuador, the Embassy released a statement announcing its support for the conservation of the Ecuadorian Amazon and promised to work with indigenous tribes that have been affected by environmental disasters like the one caused by Chevron.

Chevron is responsible for knowingly polluting Ecuadorian rainforest and so far the U.S. Embassy had supported the oil giant in its effort to escape the accountability. It looks like finally U.S. officials in Ecuador are getting on the right track. Chevron Pit has more details.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chevron Paying For Support

What does a company that is facing worldwide criticism for its unethical behavior and disregard for the environment do to improve its image? You’d think it would get on the right track and clean up its messes, right? Not Chevron! Chevron prefers to take an easy way out and simply pay people to speak positively about them. The Chevron Pit gives us a few examples of Chevron’s team trying to buy people’s support. In 2009 Gene Randall, former CNN correspondent, took part in Chevron produced fake news report, that the oil giant tried to distribute online as real news. Next year, journalist Mary Cueddehe was offered $20,000 by the oil giant to go undercover and spy on Ecuadorians suffering from Chevron’s contamination. There’s also Zennie Abraham- San Francisco Chronicle blogger who continuously posted one sided articles putting Chevron in a positive light. Read Chevron Pit’s latest post to find out more about Zennie’s “sponsored” posts.

The truth however is not that easy to hide. All of Chevron’s schemes are failing. As for Zennie Abrams… he got fired and will no longer be allowed to post Chevron scripted blogs on San Francisco Chronicle’s website.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Brazil Next Victim of Chevron’s Irresponsible Behavior

Chevron’s recent oil spill in Latin America has made Brazil the company’s most recent victim of environmental damage and contamination due to their irresponsible behavior.  Much like the situation in Ecuador, Chevron had been attempting to evade any fines  by trying to convince the Brazilian government that the oil spill that occurred at one of the Chevron’s undersea wells on November 7th was significantly smaller what investigations are proving. Visit Chevron Pit for more details

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Same As It Ever Was

Exxon in 1989, BP 2010 and for the last 18 years, Chevron. Each of these companies knowingly followed a reckless protocol of profit over people.

Consequences be damned. They don't change safety standards; they aren't interested in kneeling before Justice and making reparations. Nope, they lawyer up and launch a PR campaign that would make even Quadaffi seem a candidate for sainthood.

And so it goes with Chevron. Chevron has repeatedly refused to disclose important legal documents related to a video scam. The oil giant tried but failed to bribe an Ecuadorian court on videotape (secretly recorded) to derail a trial that produced an $18 billion judgment against the company for contamination the likes of which we have never seen anywhere else.

Meanwhile, they launch these epic ad campaigns declaring their "commitment to the environment and improving the quality of lives around the world". I'm serious, just check out their website if you've somehow been lucky enough to escape the nonstop television, radio and print ads.

So, while us folks at home are being swooned by a multi-million dollar sermon on the goodness of Chevron, the Ecuadorians are fighting for their lives. Check out this Chevron Pit blog, too.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chevron Trying To Hide Its Illegal Shenanigans Once Again

Chevron’s lawyers are fighting feverishly to withhold the documents that might prove Chevron’s continuous obstruction of law during the Ecuadorian pollution lawsuit. I learned from this press release that Chevron's lawyers are withholding 700 documents related to the 2009 bribery scheme and are refusing to release them, despite a court order to do. The Ecuadorians are fighting for the release of the documents in order to prove Chevron’s illegal attempts to derail the trial. Interestingly, last month, during proceedings in the San Francisco court, the lawyer who is representing Chevron’s dirty trick operative Diego Borja, admitted that Borja could be facing criminal charges in U.S. for his involvement in Chevron’s illegal operations. I'm sure there will be more to come!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chevron’s Unethical Lobbying of Ecuador Government Revealed in Wikileaks Cables

Just days after Second Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved (link to yesterdays post) the injunction prohibiting the enforcement of multibillion judgment against Chevron; Wikileaks cables written by U.S officials exposed another attempt by the oil giant to illegally end the pollution lawsuit.

Wikileaks documents show that Chevron tried to manipulate Ecuadorian government to interfere with the lawsuit, knowing that such intervention is forbidden by the Ecuadorian Constitution and would be illegal.

Read Amazon Defense Coalition Press Release or Chevron Pit

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Judge Kaplan’s Absurd Decisions

It seems like Judge Kaplan is confused over what his role in the Chevron trial is. Looking at his behavior, comments and rulings, you’d think he is representing Chevron. He is supposed to be impartial and make a fair decision whether the multibillion-dollar judgment against Chevron is enforceable or not. And most importantly, he is supposed to listen to everyone’s arguments. Instead, he decided to exclude the Ecuadorians’ lead lawyer Steven Donziger from the trial. Even though Donziger has been a key person in the historic pollution case for over 18 years, he is not allowed to be in the courtroom as crucial decisions are being made about his case.

Read more here and here

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Judge Kaplan's Unacceptable Behavior

I wrote about Judge Lewis Kaplan a while ago. Chevron filed a lawsuit against Ecuadorians in an effort to block the enforcement of the $18 billion judgement that was awarded to them and Judge Kaplan is presiding over it. He is biased. He keeps making inappropriate comments towards the Ecuadorians referring to them as “so-called Lago Agrio plaintiffs” and "a number of indigenous peoples said to reside in the Amazon rainforest." and according to him the Ecuadorian lawsuit-one of the biggest environmental lawsuits ever, is just a "game" brought about by the "imagination of American lawyers" trying to solve the "balance of payments" problem of the United States. This is absolutely unacceptable!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Chevron back to its old tricks.

In 2009, a few days before 60 Minutes program about Chevron's contamination in Ecuador was scheduled to air, Chevron released a video featuring CNN's Gene Randall. The video was purposely designed to fool the viewers into thinking that it was a real news broadcast. Last year Chevron tried to pay an American freelance journalist to spy on the Ecuadorian plaintiffs. Now, Alex Thorne- pro-Chevron blogger is pretending to be working on an article and reaching out to Amazon Watch donors asking them to reconsider their support for Amazon Watch. As Chevron Pit points out, this is Chevron's another attempt to use fake journalism to undermine the pollution lawsuit.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chevron Accuses Everyone But Is Blind to Its Own Wrongdoings

Chevron has been acting as if it is above the law from the very beginning of the pollution lawsuit in Ecuador. The oil giant has tried every possible move to avoid paying for the cleanup of its own toxic mess in the Ecuadorian rain forest. Some of Chevron's doings have been unjust and very often illegal. A perfect example would be Diego Borja admitting Chevron tried to manipulate the evidence.

Chevron seems to think blatant lies and manipulation are acceptable as long as it works in Chevron's favor, but the oil giant is very quick to accuse others of wrongdoing even when there's no reason to. Chevron accused Ecuadorian plaintiffs of illegally communicating with court appointed experts. But, there are two facts that Chevron chose to completely ignore. One- such meetings are completely acceptable. Two- Chevron's officials have met with with technical experts as well and Chevron did not find it inappropriate then. What makes Chevron look even more foolish is that after requesting the court to appoint an expert to conduct tests at some of the oil sites in Ecuador, Chevron refused to pay the expert after he found contamination at those sites.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chevron's Shareholders Getting Worried

A few days before Chevron's annual shareholder meeting, a new report has been released on Chevron's liability risks. The authors, Simon Billenness and Sanford Lewis- corporate governance experts, point out that the 18 billion dollar liability for the contamination of the Ecuadorian rainforest exposed company's lack of proper risk management and put Chevron at risk of irreparable harm to its value and reputation.Chevron's board of directors has been avoiding shareholders' questions about the financial risks related to the pollution lawsuit in Ecuador and has given misleading statements to the investors. This is very typical of Chevron- refusing to answer to anyone's questions and going by its own rules.

Read more about the report here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Criminals On Chevron's Payroll

Have you ever wondered what Chevron is spending its money on, other than huge bonuses and salaries for its top executives? Well, today's post on Chevron Pit answers this question. Apparently some of Chevron's profits goes to the self-proclaimed “dirty tricks” operative Diego Borja and his partner, a drug felon named Wayne Hansen. They don't even need to do any actual work for Chevron, just a few illegal operations like trying to set up the Ecuadorian judge who was presiding over the pollution lawsuit. If you want to find out what being Chevron's dirty operative will get you, go here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

John Watson made $14 million in 2010!

I blogged about the raise Chevron’s CEO John Watson recently received that increased his salary to $1.6 million, but I was not aware of the perks that come from being the CEO of one of the least reputable U.S. Corporations. I didn’t mention performance-based bonuses, stock options, contributions to an employee savings plan and small things like the use of company airplane.

According to an Associated Press analysis John Watson made $14 million in 2010 alone!

Isn’t life great when you are Chevron’s top executive? It’s a shame though that while chasing those millions Chevron trampled over so many innocent people’s lives and now does not have the decency to clean up its mess in Ecuador. Shameful.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chevron giving away millions to its executives…

Instead of spending at least a small portion of the huge profits on the cleanup of the toxic mess in Ecuador and bringing relief to those suffering from Chevron’s contamination, Chevron’s board of directors decided to give that money to its top officials.  Chevron’s CEO John Watson has just received a raise and is now making $1.6 million a year!!!

Apparently to make millions you need to be unscrupulous, manipulative and make sure your company ranks high among the least reputable American corporations. Never mind billions of gallons of toxins deliberately dumped in the Ecuadorian Amazon; never mind thousands of people suffering from the contamination; never mind all the lies and manipulation!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More On Judge Lewis Kaplan

Chevron Pit just posted a few quotes form Lewis Kaplan, the judge who blocked the enforcement of the $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron for oil contamination in the Amazon rainforest.

“On the other hand, we are dealing here with a company of considerable importance to our economy that employs thousands all over the world, that supplies a group of commodities, gasoline, heating oil, other fuels and lubricants on which every one of us depends every single day. I don't think there is anybody in this courtroom who wants to pull his car into a gas station to fill up and finds that there isn't any gas there because these folks have attached it in Singapore or wherever else.”

Judge Kaplan sounds very worried about Chevron’s wellbeing and shows absolutely no concern for Chevron’s victims.

Read more here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chevron’s Heartless Team

I started this blog because I was outraged by Chevron’s lack of concern for the environment and the communities suffering because of Chevron’s refusal to clean up its own toxic mess. With each shocking development in the lawsuit, I wonder who stands behind Chevron’s abusive defense campaign. Who would willingly choose to stand in the way of Ecuadorians fighting for justice? Apparently, with the right amount of money, a team of heartless experts is not hard to find. To meet all of the Chevron’s Human Rights Hitmen visit Chevron Pit and RAN’s websites.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

U.S. Judge Siding With Chevron.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan who blocked the enforcement of the $9.5 billion judgment is not objective and clearly sides with Chevron. The judge even encouraged Chevron to file the RICO charges against the plaintiffs and their legal team. It is unbelievable that anyone would voluntarily choose to stand in the way of the Ecuadorians fighting for justice especially since scientific evidence has proven Chevron is guilty of dumping over 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater into Amazon and destroying their lives.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Damage In Ecuador Is So Great, Chevron’s Own Tests Can’t Hide It

Chevron hired an independent expert to test the soil in Ecuador to prove there is no contamination, but the environmental damage in the Amazon is so great even Chevron’s own expert couldn’t deny it.

Here’s what Chevron’s tests showed:
  • All but one facility had contaminated water discharge into creeks and streams.

  • Hydrocarbon contamination at all facilities and a majority of drilling sites

  • Water waste was historically discharged into surface water.

  • “An oil spill prevention and control plan was not identified. The audit teams also did not observe any spill control or containment equipment.”

  • Rather than cleaning chemical or hydrocarbon spills, the oil company covered the spills with sand.
Read more here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Devastating effects

A few days ago New York Times reporter Ian Urbina wrote an article about devastating effects of hydrofracking on the environment. Billions of gallons of wastewater filled with toxins being improperly disposed of; contamination of drinking water and soil; unusually high rates of cancer and other illnesses sound awfully familiar, don’t they? Chevron Pit points out similarities between the results of the investigation into the harmful effects of hydrofracking and the environmental damages in Ecuador caused by Chevron’s careless operations.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Video: oil worker talking about Chevron's operation in Ecuador

Chevron dumped over 16 billion gallons of wastewater polluting rivers and streams in the Ecuadorian rainforest. It is horrible especially since Chevron knew how harmful the toxins were, but what makes it even worse is the fact that Chevron had a safer system designed but chose NOT to use it in order to save money.

Watch this unbelievable video of an oil worker talking about Chevron instructing the employees to drain the chemicals straight into the environment.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chevron & The Koch Brothers

Chevron’s campaign to defame the Ecuadorians suing the company for oil contamination is starting to sound a lot like the attacks by the arch-conservative Koch Brothers, the billionaires who have financed campaigns against liberal groups, like Common Cause. This blog by Carl Pope, Chairman of the Sierra Club makes that clear. I’m not surprised that Chevron is following the Koch Brothers’ playbook — the company’s general counsel, Hew Pate, and the former general counsel, Charles James, worked for the Justice Department under George Bush and with the lawyers who wrote the torture memos. What a resume these guys have!

A Gang of Thieves -- Without Honor or Humor

Carl Pope
Chairman, Sierra Club
Posted: February 16, 2011 01:47 PM

San Francisco -- That's the thought that comes to mind this week, watching the behavior of Big Oil. In Ecuador, a Court found that Chevron owes local communities $8 billion for damages left behind from an oil drilling business Chevron inherited when it took over Texaco. Chevron's response was not that the damages hadn't been done, but that the Ecuadoran decision was "illegitimate" and that the company simply wouldn't pay its debts. (Does this remind you of Exxon-Mobile around the Valdez decisions? It would be nice if the oil industry was satisfied to be the world's richest, but at least paid its bills.)

Of course, Chevron's Ecuadoran bill is more than matched by the amount of direct subsidies Big Oil draws from American taxpayers. The Obama Administration, in its proposed new budget, thinks that there are probably better ways to spend taxpayer dollars, and has proposed eliminating $54 billion of these subsidies, including $10 billion that flows from the U.S. Treasury to such governments as Saudi Arabia. (You might not have known that oil producers are, in fact, one of the major recipients of this form of foreign aid. Big Oil pays the Saudis, and the Treasury reimburses Big Oil.) The new Tea Party-influenced Republican leadership in Congress doesn't seem to agree: the Defense Department, the nuclear industry, and Big Oil are virtually the only items in the federal budget protected from proposed slash-and-burn budget cuts.

If you are running this kind of racket, it is always good to have friends in high places, and the oil industry is making sure that politicians remain in its hock. The billionaire Koch Brothers announced that in 2012 they plan to raise $88 million to purchase influence in Washington. When Common Cause organized a protest at the secret Palm Springs gathering the brothers host, conservatives yelled "foul" and began organizing dirty tricks against Common Cause. This is classic Koch style; they've also brought a lawsuit against pranksters who sent out a press release last December saying the brothers had seen the light and would no longer fund global warming denial groups. The lawsuit claimed that the spoof press release's authors were "guilty of trademark infringement, cybersquatting, unfair competition, and violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act," a criminal statute that penalizes those who hack into protected governmental and private computer systems.

It's hard to take such a lawsuit seriously. But the Koch Brothers are serious. Anyone who shines a light on their secretive effort to take over the U.S. government can expect this kind of bullying. And while Big Oil is too restrained to carry on these kinds of shenanigans here in the U.S., the Chevron response in Ecuador shows their true face.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chevron Found Guilty of Contaminating Ecuadorian Rain Forest

On Monday an Ecuadorian judge ordered Chevron to pay $8.9 billion to clean up 16 billion gallons of toxic waste that Chevron dumped into the rain forest in Ecuador.

For many years Chevron has been pointing fingers at others and trying to manipulate its way out of the responsibility for the toxic mess but it all came to nothing when faced with overwhelming evidence that plaintiffs submitted to the court showing Chevron not only contaminated the rain forest but it did it knowingly.

Chevron built a substandard system and continued to use it knowing it’s leaking toxins into the ground. In a 1980 letter a Texaco official said that building a safer system would be too expensive and recommended using the faulty one. Chevron took that advice and continued putting toxic byproduct of oil drilling into 900 unlined and unprotected pits for many years.

The judgment is great news for the Ecuadorians suffering from the contamination and anyone who cares about the environment. It is time for a proper clean up of those toxic oil pits, not just throwing dirt on top of them like Chevron did.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chevron Tries To Silence The Critics Again

Chevron has filed a racketeering lawsuit against the named Ecuadorians who are suing Chevron for the contamination in the Amazon . This is not only another desperate attempt to run away from what could be a costly judgment for them in Ecuador, but also an example of Chevron’s bullying of anyone who dares to speak up against them. Just how low will Chevron go? It files criminal charges against the very people suffering from the company’s shoddy drilling practices that led to the destruction of their land and culture and, in thousands of cases, the death and illness of people living near Chevron’s former oil sites. This is unbelievable.

Chevron’s lawsuit was filed under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act which was designed to prosecute the Mafia. I read about it in this San Francisco Chronicle article. It quotes Sean Hecht, executive director of the Environmental Law Center at UCLA. saying that Chevron’s suit looks more like a form of SLAPP, a strategic lawsuit that seeks to essentially silence people from protesting.

"I can't judge this as a SLAPP suit, but it looks like it has some of the hallmarks," Hecht said . "It's trying to convince someone to throw in the towel."

As the evidence against Chevron mounts up, Chevron is now trying to force the Ecuadorians to back away. I’m betting they are going nowhere. Also, remember that Chevron had five protestors arrested last year at its shareholder meeting and prevented 20 people, many from foreign countries, including Ecuador, from attending the meeting, even though they had legitimate proxies.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chevron Tells More Lies!

Chevron must have a bottomless box full of dirty tricks. The oil giant has been using all kinds of schemes for 18 years to get out of the responsibility for the toxic mess left behind in Ecuador. When you think you have seen it all, Chevron comes up with another deplorable lie. This time Chevron is alleging that some of the plaintiffs’ signatures were forged on the lawsuit!

I understand that Chevron’s executives are in panic mode because they could face a multi-billion damage award, but have they not learned anything yet? Most of those schemes not only failed, but also backfired and hurt Chevron’s reputation in the end.

Earlier this week, more than two dozens of the plaintiffs whose signatures Chevron claims were forged gathered at one of the oil waste pits to verify their signatures. Chevron’s spokesperson James Craig called it a “media circus”. From my perspective, though, the only clown is Chevron.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I haven’t posted anything in a while. I have been traveling and wasn’t able to update the blog regularly. There have been a few developments but two things have not changed: Ecuadorians are still getting sick and dying because of Chevron’s contamination and Chevron refuses to do anything about it.

Here are a few headlines I missed:

Chevron Accused Of 'World's Worst Oil-Related Disaster' In Ecuador: Alleged Evidence Submitted In Lawsuit

Diego Borja, his wife Sarah Portilla, and collaborator Wayne Hansen have left California after being called to testify about falsifying evidence in Ecuador environmental trial

Comedy Video Rips Chevron's New "Greenwashing" PR Campaign

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