Chevron Lies, People Die.

posted by Rainforest Action Network

In today’s “Chevron is a dirty liar” news: The oil giant pulls another dirty PR trick and lies to avoid paying $27 billion to clean up their toxic legacy in Ecuador.

For years, the people of Ecuador have been trying to get Chevron to clean up the billions of gallons of toxic waste and unlined oil pits that were left to poison their water, their land, and their community.

Chevron has used dirty tricks and tactics every step of the way during the decades-long legal challenge to force them to clean up Ecuador. They’ve hired dirty PR, legal, and lobby teams; forced the case to move around the globe; fabricated a story to discredit the original Judge; and filed endless motions that are eventually denied but nevertheless succeed in further draining the plaintiff’s resources and delaying a judgment.

As Steven Donziger, a legal advisor for the 30,000 Ecuadoreans who are suffering because of the 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste Chevron refuses to clean up, says:

“Chevron is again trying to strong-arm the court by misrepresenting facts. This is part of an underhanded attempt to derail a trial Chevron is losing based on the voluminous scientific evidence.”

Today’s trick? To claim in a press release to their investors it had “newly discovered” evidence that the court-appointed Special Master who conducted a damages assessment, Richard Cabrera, owns a remediation company in Ecuador that stands to benefit from a clean-up should the plaintiffs win the case. The filing is the 29th official motion Chevron has made to the court to disqualify Cabrera but the court has never accepted Chevron’s arguments.

Carbera, working with a team of 14 scientists, found that Chevron could be responsible for $27.3 billion in damages.

Pablo Fajardo, who grew up in the contaminated region and is now the lead Ecuadorian lawyer in the case, took a moment to dispel some of today’s Chevron lies and half-truths:

* Cabrera disclosed to the court that he owned a clean-up company beforehis appointment as Special Master. This fact was properly cited by the court as one of the reasons he was qualified to do the damages assessment.
* Chevron thought so highly of Cabrera’s qualifications that it accepted him as a court-appointed expert in an earlier part of the case and paid his fees as required by court rules.
* The fact Cabrera’s company is qualified to bid on clean-up contracts offered by Ecuador’s state-owned oil company is irrelevant. That company, Petroecuador, is not a party to the case against Chevron and would have no role in any eventual cleanup.
* Cabrera by virtue of his role in the case would be barred from having a role in a future clean-up.

To Chevron, this is all about money and pulling out every dirty trick in the book to avoid taking responsibility for the devastation they have caused.

For the people of Ecuador this is about so much more than money.

This is about the children who are getting sick and dying because they are forced to drink poisoned water. This is about justice for the 1,400 people who have died of cancer. And for the families who were unfortunate enough to build their homes on dangerous oil pits that Chevron (then Texco) lied about properly cleaning up. This is about their right to drink clean water. A right that Chevron denies with every lie and legal trick.

Chevron- when will the lies end and the clean up begin?

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Cross-posted from