The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice: An update on the Chevron disaster in the Ecuadorian Amazon

NY Comptroller To Chevron: Time To Pay $18 Billion Ecuador Fin

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli renewed his call on Friday that Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), the second-largest oil company in the U.S., settle its legal battle against a multibillion-dollar judgment in Ecuador, to avoid further damaging its reputation and shareholder value.

  • (Photo: Reuters / Guillermo Granja)<br>Ecuadoran workers clean up an oil waste pit owned by state-owned company Petroecuador in Shushufindi.
(Photo: Reuters / Guillermo Granja)
Ecuadoran workers clean up an oil waste pit owned by state-owned company Petroecuador in Shushufindi.

DiNapoli is a trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which owns an estimated $700 million inChevron shares. He joined 39 other investors managing $580 billion in assets from the U.S., Canada and Europe, asking that Chevron end its resistance against the Ecuadorean verdict.

In February 2011, a court in Ecuador found Chevron guilty of polluting tracts of the Amazon, and ordered it to pay $18 billion in damages. The case stems from allegations that Texaco improperly cleaned up after decades of operation in the country. Chevron inherited the legal case when it merged with Texaco in 2001.

Since the adverse ruling, the company has fought the Ecuadorean verdict, calling it fraudulent and the product of malicious intent.But DiNapoli said Chevron should pay the fine and “put this issue to rest.”Follow us“The time for delay is over,” DiNapoli said. “The company’s attempt to undo the court’s verdict only keeps the case in the public eye and further damages Chevron’s reputation. Chevron’s actions are hurting shareholders as well as the indigenous people of the rainforest.”The renewed call mirrors a previous request DiNapoli made back in 2008, which was not heeded by Chevron. Since then, the Ecuadorean judgement has been upheld in an Ecuadorian court and prosecutors there said they can start enforcing the judgment by seizing Chevron’s assets throughout the world.On May 14, some of the company’s shareholders asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate claims Chevron management was not properly informing them of the risks facing the company in light of the $18 billion pending judgement.Chevron still has an appeal pending in Ecuador’s high court, and has had a racketeering case it filed against the head lawyer for the Ecuadorian plaintiffs upheld in New York.In Friday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Chevron fell $1.20 to $98.86 a share.Source: International Business Times

Shareholders Urge Chevron to Accept $18 Billion Ecuadorian Court Judgement

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli joined with 39 other investors from the United States, Canada and Europe, with a combined total of $580 billion in assets under management, to call on Chevron to settle its two-decade-long legal battle with indigenous populations in the Amazon rainforest. Citing an $18 billion Ecuadorian Court judgment and “significant reputational damage” Chevron has suffered due to the long-running lawsuit, DiNapoli asked the company to seek a settlement to prevent further shareholder damage.

“The time for delay is over,” said DiNapoli, trustee of the $150.3 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, which owns 7.24 million shares worth an estimated $713 million in Chevron. “The company’s attempt to undo the court’s verdict only keeps the case in the public eye and further damages Chevron’s reputation. Chevron’s actions are hurting shareholders as well as the indigenous people of the rainforest. I urge the company’s leadership to settle the case and put this issue to rest.”

Over a 25-year period beginning in 1964, Texaco and its joint venture partner Petroecuador dumped nearly 16 billion gallons of oil waste products into the Amazonian rainforest. The companies also spilled nearly 17 million gallons of oil from its trans-Ecuadorian pipeline operation between 1971 and 1991 – 50 percent more than the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez crash. Chevron merged with Texaco in 2001.

In a letter sent in November 2008, DiNapoli pressed Chevron’s board of directors to come to an equitable settlement in order to avoid substantial penalties in an Ecuadorian court. The company refused to settle, and the Ecuadorian Provincial Court subsequently awarded plaintiffs nearly $18 billion in compensatory and punitive damages in February 2011. The judgment was upheld by an Ecuadorian appeals court in January 2012.

Shareholders citing the Ecuadorian case have filed three resolutions calling for corporate governance reforms in the company. One asks Chevron to separate the positions of chief executive officer and chair of the board, another asks the company to lower the thresholds for calling special shareholder meetings, and a third, sponsored by the Common Retirement Fund, calls on Chevron to appoint an independent director with environmental expertise to its board.

Shareholders are expected to vote on the resolutions at the company’s May 30 annual meeting.

Source: Energy Digital

Chevron’s Worst Year Ever, Episode 2: Ecuador

This has been one of the worst years ever for Chevron. From it’s ongoing massive legal losses in Ecuador, to offshore disasters in Brazil and Nigeria, to the tragic deaths of its employees in several locations, including right here in California.

This is the second in a series of statements we’re posting as we prepare for a week of what is sure to be inspired 99% Spring protest against Chevron’s irresponsible and destructive business practices (read the first statement, by Kazakhstan’s Sergey Solanyik, here). These statements are by people from around the world (and from right here in the Bay Area) letting us know what it really means to live in the communities where Chevron operates. Many will travel to San Ramon, CA to bring their calls for justice directly to the company’s executives, board members, and shareholders at Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting on May 30. You can view all of the statements at TrueCostOfChevron.com. If you want to join the protest on May 30, RVSP and find details here.

Luz Trinidad Andrea Cusangua

Luz Trinidad Andrea Cusangua

Today’s statement is from Luz Trinidad Andrea Cusangua. Luz is a successful ecological farmer despite the widespread oil contamination that surrounds her land. There is an oil well just 100 meters from her home, and the nearest source of fresh water, the river Wilya, is contaminated by Chevron’s oil. Luz is also a mother and grandmother, and knows the ravages of Chevron’s oil pollution all too well: her children have suffered from various illnesses, such as skin disease, and her mother was diagnosed with skin cancer that doctors attribute to the oil.

Luz speaks movingly of the need for clean water for her family and the rest of her community. RAN was proud to support the launch today of a locally led project called ClearWater that is providing safe, clean drinking water to the Ecuadoreans living with the oily mess Chevron refuses to clean up. Find out how you can support the project atGiveClearWater.org.

Here’s Luz’s statement to Chevron, which she will deliver to the company herself in San Ramon on May 30:

I am preparing to travel to the United States to speak, in person, about all of the harm that Texaco (now Chevron) left in our Amazon rainforest. Texaco contaminated our forest, leaving many people sick with cancer; the rivers poisoned; and the soil as well; so much flora and fauna destroyed. I am going to attend the shareholder meeting, and I am going to speak directly to the boss of Chevron, and look him in the eye, and tell him about what our people have suffered through because of the harm that his company caused in our beautiful forest. Many people have lost their lives or the lives of their loved ones as a result of the arrogance, the irresponsibility and the brute behavior of the American company here in our forest. I wonder if the boss of Chevron, Mr. Watson, will be able to feel our pain?

We have won the lawsuit against Chevron, but still the company doesn’t want to accept responsibility for what they have done. They have no shame. They remain arrogant. They call us liars. But I have lived through the contamination that they left here. They can’t contradict me! The river close to my house was our source of life, and when Texaco drilled the wells Sacha 89, 90, 91 and even Sacha 5 and 13, the river became filled with oil. My children suffered because of the contamination. Their feet rotted, they had warts and rashes on their skin. And my mother got cancer on her nose. Do you think that there would be so much cancer in a virgin forest? I remember the nights when my feet would burn, and I would cry from pain, and slowly my feet would start to rot, and the skin would fall off piece by piece. All of this sickness was caused by the contamination that Chevron left here in the Amazon.

The animals also began to die; the birds and the capibaras. That’s why in many places we don’t see animals anymore. I have planted fruit trees on my property so that animals would return. I am an ecological farmer. On my land I have coconuts, cacao, coffee, heliconia, orquids, medicinal plants, and Amazonian fruit trees. I have learned much from the indigenous people here, the Cofan, Siona, Secoya, and Quichua. And I have made a great effort to create a land that is healthy, but it is almost impossible when the rivers are contaminated. And that is why I am going to go to the United States to demand our rights. We all have the right to clean water. And no one has the right, not even the most powerful multinational company in the world, to take that right away.

That is why I am going to tell the senores of Chevron that we are people just like them. They like to have clean water, and we also have the right to clean water. I would like them to come here and drink the water; I know that they won’t like it; they will want purified water. We are people just like them. We have feelings just like them. Why do they want to discriminate against us? So much contamination! They left Ecuador with so much of our money, and they left us nothing. They made money and we were left with a tremendous pain without being able to recover what we had lost. I am going to the United States to demand justice from Chevron!

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

SELVA Vida Sin Fronteras acknowledges Kevin Schafer’s important contribution towards protecting the highly endangered Amazon pink fresh water dolphin. Title photographs of our “The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice” were taken by Mr. Schafer. 

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

SELVA Vida Sin Fronteras acknowledges Kevin Schafer’s important contribution towards protecting the highly endangered Amazon pink fresh water dolphin. Title photographs of our “The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice” were taken by Mr. Schafer. 

Editorial: SELVA- Vida Sin Fronteras

Selvavidasinfronteras.wordpress.com

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~ by FSVSF Admin on 29 May, 2012.

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