Earlier this year we commissioned a report on the financial and operational risks to Chevron’s worldwide business operations if the company continues with its endless litigation strategy in Ecuador rather than finally agreeing to clean up its toxic mess in the Amazon. The report was targeted at investors, but a recent investigative news piece about Chevron’s operations in Australia has just made the same point as the report for a much more general audience.
“How can we trust you with our land and our Indigenous people, when you’ve done this here in the Amazon?” Australian reporter Mike Munro asks Chevron spokesman James Craig.
This is the type of question Chevron can expect in any country it goes to from now until the company finally does the right thing and takes responsibility for the environmental and human rights catastrophe it created in the Ecuadorean Amazon.
Chevron is investing heavily in liquid natural gas projects in western Australia off the Kimberley coast, which is why Munro asked James Craig, “How can we trust you with our land…?” Here’s one of many reasons the Kimberley is worth protecting (read the top 10 here):
The Kimberley’s coastal waters are a world class marine wonderland — with amazing coral reefs, sea grass meadows, sponge gardens and mangroves supporting the world’s largest population of humpback whales, as well as rare and threatened snubfin dolphins, sawfish, turtles, dugongs and a vast array of fish species — and so much more that has never been studied.
There are already some 500 Indigenous people working at some 24 Indigenous-owned tourism companies in the Kimberley. Yet, in a pattern that has become all-too-familiar, Chevron wants to trade their long-term survival, and the long-term health of the Kimberley coastal ecosystem, for its own short-term gain.
And as we’ve seen time and again, Chevron thinks it’s above the law. Hell, Chevron thinks it’s above even human decency. Australians are right not to trust Chevron will do what’s right for their country.
It will be interesting to see how Chevron responds to this piece. Typically when someone speaks the truth about Chevron’s business operations, the company tries to bully them into silence. My prediction: Get ready for a lawsuit, Mike Munro.