Briannay Cayo Cotter, 415.305.1943
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WASHINGTON—Two activists with the Rainforest Action Network, Ginger Cassady and Kaitlin Finneran, were arrested today at the end of the oil hearing in the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee. The two were dragged out of the hearing after Ginger Cassady attempted to deliver a bottle of oil-contaminated water from Ecuador to Chevron’s CEO John Watson. While being escorted out Cassady said: “Chevron is responsible for dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste in Ecuador, Chevron is no better than BP.”
At a hearing that was clearly set to determine whether BP is an exception or the rule for the oil industry, youth and concerned citizens were there to ensure their representatives heard loud and clear that the oil industry is riddled with safety violations, human rights abuses and environmental disasters. Just this week, at least 400 to 500 barrels of oil spewed into a Utah creek from a Chevron pipeline.
“The loose safety regulations, slack oversight and outright legislative support that our government provides for corporations—most egregiously dirty energy corporations—have been on clear display with the BP oil disaster. We are seeing all of Big Oil at today’s hearing, because this is an industry wide problem,” said Cassady earlier in the day.
Four out of forty members of the public who had waited since 5:00am this morning we are able attend today’s hearing. All of them wore black t-shirts that read, “Energy Shouldn’t Cost Lives.”
Today’s hearing is the first time the five top oil executives have been in Washington together since the catastrophic BP explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The activists raised serious concerns about the oil industry’s recklessness, corruption and lack of accountability. For decades Chevron has fought to deny responsibility for cleaning up massive oil contamination in Ecuador. In Alaska, thousands of people died while awaiting settlement on Exxon Valdez. In light of the industry’s track record, the public is rightly concerned that victims in the Gulf will never be fully compensated for BP’s damage.
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