Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chevron Trying to Blackmail Ecuador in Pollution Lawsuit

Newsweek reports that the Bush Administration is considering a high-level request from Chevron lobbyists to punish Ecuador for a pollution lawsuit currently proceeding in Ecuadorean courts. Special trade preferences for Ecuador would be removed if the lawsuit is not quashed.

Chevron has been sued for dumping billions of gallons of toxic oil waste into Ecuador’s rain forest in an eco-disaster billed as an Amazon Chernobyl. They laughed it off until a court-appointed expert recommended Chevron be required to pay up to $16 billion to clean up the rainforest. Chevron’s lobbying team includes former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, former Democratic Senator John Breaux and Wayne Berman, a top fundraiser for John McCain. One lobbyist told Newsweek, “We can’t let little countries screw around with big companies like this—companies that have made big investments around the world.”

Well said sir. Nevermind that when Ecuador's Courts were ruling in Chevron's favor, they argued for 10 years in NY courts that the Ecuadorian legal system and courts were impartial and that complaints should be heard there. But when justice starts taking a real course, they have to turn to arm twisting in Washington to punish the entire country of Ecuador. Chevron has demonstrated what it thinks about the rule of law, the Amazon and the thousands of rainforest residents who were injured by their (well Texaco's... which they bought out) neglect. Let us hope that some anti-Correa hot heads in the State Department do not try to get cute and take this crap seriously.

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