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Rainforest Action Network Statement on Chevron Oil Spill in Brazil

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Will Chevron avoid paying oil spill fines in Brazil as it is doing in Ecuador Amazon case? 

SAN FRANCISCO- Brazil's environmental agency said Monday it will fine Chevron nearly $28 million for a continuing oil spill off the Rio de Janeiro coast, and that the company could face several more similar fines in the coming days. Chevron, which has admitted responsibility for the November 7 spill, continues to face political backlash in Brazil for misleading statements about the size of the spill and its containment.

The leak is a test for Brazil as huge offshore oil finds have been announced recently, with estimates that they could hold at least 50 billion barrels of oil.

The following is a statement from Ginger Cassady of Rainforest Action Network. The group has spent years working to help the Ecuadorean people hold Chevron accountable for its massive oil-related disaster in the Amazon.

“This is Chevron’s second major conflict with a key Latin American oil-producing nation. Chevron has a long and toxic legacy in Latin America that started 19 years ago with a catastrophic oil disaster in Ecuador, for which it was found guilty to the tune of $18 billion dollars.

“Chevron continues to deny responsibility for cleaning up its 18 billion gallon oil disaster in Ecuador. There is every reason to assume that the oil giant will use the same legal maneuvers and public relations tactics to avoid responsibility in Brazil where the oil giant is already being accused of covering up the extent of its spill.

“From Brazil to Ecuador, Chevron continues to fail to meet environmental standards in the countries where it operates. Countries like Brazil should be cautious to do business with companies like Chevron considering how long the oil giant has evaded responsibility for its environmental crimes in Ecuador.”

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Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org

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