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Posts Tagged ‘environmental damage’

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.

Related News Links:

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 »

Wal-Mart, the Panther Chameleon and Josef Fritzl

Posted by feww on May 21, 2008

Could Wal-Mart Ever Be Called “Green?”

What are the necessary conditions for pigs to fly?

One headline read: Green tech innovations save cash and planet. The text followed: “Businesses from Wal-Mart Stores Inc to Nike Inc are finding that green investments in their operations are more than just Earth-friendly – they’re boosting the bottom line, an environmental group said on Tuesday.

“The new wave of environmental investments goes beyond energy-saving lighting, buying recycled office supplies and double-side printing, the group, Environmental Defense Fund, said in a new report.” Wow!

Could Wal-Mart Ever Be Called “Green?”

Despite the obvious fallacies and the glaring oxymoron, FEWW moderators decided to put this to the test. The first reactions from an informal sounding were all too similar. The responses varied citing anything from “deception” by one kind of animal, to “rape” by another kind. Two examples follow:

Deception

  • Well, it all depends on your notion of “green,” “blue” [the new advertising gimmick meaning “deep green,”] or khaki camouflage. What color is a Chamaeleo pardalis?


Panther Chameleon. Coloration varies with location, [and business objectives] the different color patterns of Panther Chameleons are commonly referred to as ‘locales’, which are named after the geographical location in which they are found. (Photo Credit: David Parks, via howstuffworks.)

And …

Rape

  • If you can call Josef Fritzl a “caring” father, then you could probably call Wal-Mart “green,” or “blue” [meaning “deep green,”] because W-M’s passion for the environment is similar to Fritzl’s love for his daughter. They both got raped for quarter of a century!


An Austrian police handout picture released April 28, 2008 shows Josef Fritzl.

[Note: A “caring” father, Josef F. locked up his daughter in a windowless cell for 25 years for “her own protection” preventing her from “breaking all the rules” that might have harmed her. He repeatedly raped her to presumably express his “fatherly love,” and even kept three of the seven children which he fathered (grand-fathered?) with her, locked up in the basement to keep the “family unit” intact.]

Contorted logic?


A Wal-Mart Supercenter in Miles City, Montana. Note the obscene size of the parking lot! This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. (Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dave_mcmt/282000649/)

The 7 Rs for Wal-Mart

FEWW team had designed a survey covering a number of “serious” issues and at the last moment they decided to also include the question of Wal-Mart “color” on a poll of the members, colleagues, associates and supporters. The question concerning the mega corporation asked:

What are the circumstances, ever so remotely, under which Wal-Mart could conceivably claim to be “green,” or “blue,” [meaning “deep green?”]


Mushrooming in the Heart of Nature: A Wal-Mart Supercenter in Madison Heights, Virginia.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License.
(Photo: Ben Schumin, via Wikimedia Commons.)

The replies, with all the “polite profanities” and snide remarks removed, were formulated as follows:

To be called “green” without a guffaw [not even a snicker] Wal-Mart should:

1. Renounce profit-making as a business model.
2. Re-establish as a customer co-operative.
3. Re-house all of their employees within a 0.6-mile (1km) radius of the stores.
4. Refuse to serve customers who
(i) Live farther than 5 miles (8km) from their stores, or
(ii) Drive to the stores.

5. Return the parking lots to nature.

6. Refrain from selling merchandise that are NOT locally produced, i.e., stop importing from China.

Or

7. Rot in the Ruins!

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Chaitén Volcano: No End Seen to Second Massive Eruption

Posted by feww on May 12, 2008

A Shrinking World Series:

Update #1 – Millions of tons of volcanic ash continue to rain down on Patagonia

Ten days after the Chilean volcano erupted for the first time in thousands of years, volcanic ash continues to rain down in Patagonia.


An eruption on the morning of May 2, 2008 forced the evacuation of more than 4,000 people from the town of Chaitén nearby (10 kilometers distant from the volcano) and caused the death of an elderly woman. The eruption continued through to May 4. Towns such as Futaleufú were affected and water supplies were contaminated. The town of Chaitén and Futaleufú were completely evacuated on the morning of May 6, 2008, due to a massive new eruption, with pyroclastic flows and possible emerging of lava. (Source)

The scientists have expressed grave concerns about the potential long-term environmental damage and the harm to the health of people and animals in the area.

“It has spoiled lakes, rivers and lagoons, coated plants in a dense layer of gray, and altered the sensitive habitat of animals now struggling to survive. Satellite images show a white stripe smeared across the southern part of South America.” Reuters said.
Photo
A bicycle covered in volcanic ash in Futaleufu town, about 1450 km south of Santiago May 11, 2008. Chaiten volcano began erupting May 2, 2008. (Photo: REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice.

“I am tremendously worried because this is an environmental, social and ecological disaster,” said Alejandro Beletzky, an environmental scientist in Argentina.

“The presence of volcanic ash in the region, which falls constantly, is very risky for humans, plants and animals,” he said near Esquel, about 2,000km southwest of Buenos Aires. (Source)

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, health, new zealand, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »