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Chevron should pay $27 billion in compensation

Posted by feww on November 27, 2008

Expert estimates cost of oil giant’s environmental damage in Ecuador at $27billion

The oil company Chevron Corp should pay $27 billion in compensation for environmental damage it caused in Ecuador, an expert geologist says.


Antiwar protesters demonstrate outside Chevron Corp headquarters. Source

In a 1990s lawsuit brought against Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001, the farmers and indigenous groups in Ecuador contend that the company polluted the forest and damaged their health by dumping about 70 million cubic meters of contaminated water over two decades between 1972 and 1992.

Chevron dismisses the claim arguing that the independent damage report “contains fabricated and erroneous evidence,” and that Texaco was released from any liability because it paid $40 million for an environmental cleanup in the 1990s. Chevron also blames state oil company Petroecuador for most of the pollution.

A final ruling on the case is expected in 2009.

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Chevron’s Environmental record [from Wikipedia]

From 1965 to 1993, Texaco (acquired by Chevron in 2001) participated in a consortium to develop the Lago Agrio oil field in Ecuador. It has been accused of extensive environmental damage from these operations, and faces legal claims from both private plaintiffs and the government of Ecuador. The case has been widely publicized by environmental activists. Chevron claims that it is being unfairly targeted as a deep pocket defendant, when the actual responsibility lies with the government and its national oil company.

Chevron’s activities in Richmond, California have been the subject of ongoing controversy. The project houses over 11 million pounds of toxic materials and has been responsible for over 304 accidents.[11] For illegally bypassing wastewater treatments and failing to notify the public about toxic releases, Chevron’s Richmond refineries were forced to pay $540,000 in 1998.[12] Overall, Chevron is listed as potentially responsible for ninety-five Superfund sites—locations for which the EPA has earmarked funds for cleanup.[13] In October, 2003, the state of New Hampshire sued Chevron and other oil companies for using MTBE, a gasoline additive that the attorney general claimed polluted much of the state’s water supply.[14]

Chevron’s African operations have also been criticized as environmentally unsound.[15] In 2002, Angola became the first African nation ever to fine a major multinational corporation operating in its own waters when it demanded 2 million dollars in compensation for oil spills allegedly caused by Chevron’s poor maintenance.[16]

On October 16, 2003, Chevron U.S.A. Inc. resolved a Clean Air Act settlement, which reduced harmful air emissions by about 10,000 tons a year.[17] In San Francisco, Chevron was filed by a consent decree to spend almost $275 million to install and utilize innovative technology to reduce nitrogen and sulfur dioxide emissions at its refineries.[18] After violating the Clean Air Act at an offline loading terminal in El Segundo, California, Chevron paid a $6 million penalty as well as $1 million More…

Posted in Chevron lawsuit, Climate Change, ecuador, environment, Richard Cabrera | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »