Look What the True Cost of Chevron Network Did Last Week

Last week was a busy one for the True Cost of Chevron Network.

Dozens of activists including those from Angola, Nigeria, Canada, Alaska, and the U.S. Gulf Coast traveled to San Ramon, California to attend Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting to deliver a new report: The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report. This report includes accounts by more than 40 authors and records egregious corporate behavior in locations as diverse as California, Burma, Colombia, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Philippines and the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Outside the Chevron AGM, activists joined together to fight back in protest against the dire impacts of Chevron’s reckless pursuit of profits.

Two days before Chevron’s shareholder meeting, members of communities from around the world that have been impacted by Chevron’s reckless business operations participated in a True Cost of Chevron Teach-In.

To find out more about what happened during these events, here’s info on photos, videos and press clippings for you:


Check them out here on Flickr.


For more press clippings, visit our Energy Program in the News web page.


Watch Videos from outside the Chevron AGM here.

Here’s one of Global Exchange Energy Program Director Antonia Juhashz:


Get your copy of The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report. Download the report or make a $15 contribution to Global Exchange to receive a hard copy of the book.

Sign on to the petition “Leave it in the Ground: Statement against Arctic Offshore Drilling”: Please take 30 seconds to sign the petition here.

The following post was originally sent to our News and Action e-mail list. Be the first to get urgent news updates from Global Exchange by signing up to our e-mail lists.

We’ll be at Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting in San Ramon, California on May 25. Will you join us?

Nearly two years ago, Global Exchange formed the Energy Program (previously the Chevron Program), to expand and better coordinate a network of communities directly impacted by Chevron’s operations across California, the U.S. and the world. With your help, we have done so with great success, establishing the True Cost of Chevron Network at an inspiring international strategy session following Chevron’s annual meeting last year in Houston.

This year, we will be back again to take on Chevron with an even stronger Network.

On May 23, we will host a public teach-in at the Brower Center in Berkeley. Learn more and RSVP on facebook – and please invite your friends.

On May 24, we will release the third annual True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report. Filled with an amazing array of first-hand accounts of Chevron’s abuses written by impacted community members from around the world, this year’s report includes new locations, such as China, the North Sea and the Beaufort Sea. There is also a special focus on Chevron and offshore drilling in the wake of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon.

On May 25, we will attend Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting while a support protest rally takes place outside Chevron’s gates. Learn more and RSVP on facebook – and please invite your friends.

Allies joining us in the Bay Area include Humberto Piaguaje, Amazon Defense Coalition, Ecuador; Emem Okon, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Nigeria; Mardan Pius Ginting, WALHI – Friends of the Earth Indonesia, Indonesia; Gitz Crazyboy, First Nation Dene/Pikini (Blackfoot), Alberta, Canada; Elias Isaac, Open Society Initiative, Angola; Bryan Parras and Liana Lopez, Texas Environmental Advocacy Services and the Gulf Coast Fund, Houston, Texas; Tom Evans, of the Native village of Nanwalek, CookInlet Keepers, Alaska, and more.


Stay tuned to the Chevron Program blog for continued updates about the upcoming Chevron shareholder meeting in San Ramon, California.

The following post was written by Tonya Hennessey, Global Exchange Energy Program’s Chevron AGM Campaign Coordinator:

2010 was an outstanding year for Chevron.”

With these words, CEO John Watson opens Chevron’s 2010 Annual Report.

The communities who bear the costs of Chevron’s operations do not agree. On May 23, you can hear directly from community leaders who will travel from Angola, Nigeria, Ecuador, Indonesia, the tar sands of Canada, Alaska, Texas, Richmond, CA and beyond to the Bay Area to share the true cost of Chevron’s operations where they live.


Monday, May 23 from 7-10 PM PST
David Brower Center, Tamalpais Room, 2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, California 94704
Tel: 510.809.0900

Elias Isaac will travel from Angola to share his story at the teach-in. Elias, of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, wrote in the forthcoming True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report for 2010 (our third installment of the report to be released soon):

“The impacts of oil activity in the Sea of Cabinda are so disastrous that most of the sand on the shores is polluted and black in color, and most of the beaches cannot be used. Chevron barely acknowledges or accepts responsibility for these impacts. According to fishermen, the shortage of fish in the Sea of Cabinda started in the 1980s, reaching its peak in the late 1990s when serious environmental destruction began.”

Also speaking at the teach-in is Mardan Pius Ginting of WAHLI-Friends of the Earth Indonesia. Pius wrote in the True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report for 2010:

“Chevron has employed brutal measures to quiet protests, including utilizing Indonesia’s notorious security services, bringing charges of human rights abuse, violence and intimidation.”

Other teach-in speakers traveling to the Bay Area from Chevron-affected communities include:

  • Humberto Piaguaje, Amazon Defense Coalition, Ecuador
  • Emem Okon, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Nigeria
  • Gitz Crazyboy (Ryan Deranger), First Nation Dene/Pikini (Blackfoot), Alberta, Canada
  • Bryan Parras, Texas Environmental Advocacy Services and the Gulf Coast Fund, Houston, Texas
  • Tom Evans, of the Native village of Nanwalek, CookInlet Keepers, Alaska

While the company touts its “Human Energy” PR message of corporate social responsibility, we will bear witness to the social and environmental costs that go unmentioned by Chevron. Chevron’s current “We Agree” ad campaign asks: “Oil Companies Should Support the Communities They’re a Part Of: Do You Agree?

A close look at Chevron’s operations worldwide shows a very different picture.


On May 25, these community leaders and many more will go to Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting in San Ramon. We ask you to join us there at a support rally outside of Chevron’s gates.

More information about this event will be available on our website soon.

Global Exchange has worked with our allies in Nigeria for over a decade to help stop the illegal and deadly use of gas-flaring.

Today, our friends at Amnesty International have launched an important new campaign to end flaring — and you can help!

The oil industry is abusing the human rights of hundreds of thousands of people in the Niger Delta region. So far, the Nigerian government can’t or won’t hold oil companies accountable. Amnesty’s Demand Dignity Campaign is pressuring the world’s largest oil companies–including Chevron, and the government of Nigeria, to clean up the Niger Delta. As part of that work, Amnesty International USA’s new Eyes on Nigeria project uses the power of satellite technology to monitor oil industry abuses in the region.

A major source of oil pollution is the practice of gas flaring — burning off excess gas as waste. The people of the Niger Delta need a real deadline for ending gas flaring — and they need full transparency about the health risks of flaring.

This summer, Amnesty International will be pushing government and corporations for accountability on this issue.


Add your voice to the Niger Delta petition at amnestyusa.org/endgasflaring.

Learn More!

Read about gas-flaring in Nigeria in The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report.

Stay connected!

Photos (c) Alison Dilworth/Friends of the Earth

New York City-based plaintiffs’ lawyer Steven Donziger is requesting an oral argument on Chevron Corp.’s recent motion for a separate and expedited trial.

Chevron, in a memorandum filed March 14, is seeking bifurcation on its request for a declaratory judgment that an Ecuadorian court’s multibillion-dollar judgment against it is “non-recognizable” and “unenforceable.”

The other trial would focus on the company’s racketeering claims against defendants Donziger; his Ecuadorian colleagues Pablo Fajardo and Luis Yanza; organizations the Amazon Defense Front and Selva Viva; and Stratus Consulting, a Boulder, Colo.-based consulting firm.

Chevron, in its 17-page memorandum, argued that bifurcation promotes the interests of “convenience” and “judicial efficiency,” and “expeditious resolution of the manner and order of trial is necessary to structure discovery and other pre-trial matters and to allow for prompt and orderly resolution of the case.”

Bifurcation and prompt resolution of the declaratory judgment claim is especially necessary, Chevron said, because representatives of the Lago Agrio plaintiffs “have made clear that they will not abide by this court’s preliminary injunction, vowing that they will ‘use all the relevant legal tools available in Ecuador and all over the world to accomplish enforcement of the judgment in whatever part of the world where it’s most convenient and where Chevron has assets.'”

Donziger, in his two-page request, says the court’s March 11 order to show cause indicated that Chevron’s motion would be submitted “without the need for any argument in open court, unless otherwise ordered.” Donziger said he is requesting such an order.

He submits that “oral argument is appropriate given the complexity of the issues presented by Chevron’s motion.”

In particular, Donziger’s counsel says they would like to address the decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Republic of Ecuador, et al., v. Chevron Corp., et al., and “any impact that decision may have on this case and, specifically, on Chevron’s request for bifurcation.”

The Second Circuit ruled Thursday that Chevron could proceed with its international arbitration dispute with Ecuador.

An Ecuadorian court, in a ruling last month, ordered the company to pay $8.6 billion for environmental damage caused to the country’s Amazon region by Chevron’s Texaco unit.

Karen Hinton, a spokeswoman for the Ecuadorians suing Chevron, said following the appeals court’s ruling last week that the decision was “a critically important milestone” for the plaintiffs “in their 18-year battle to hold Chevron accountable for the world’s worst oil-related disaster.”

“The Appellate Court found against Chevron on several key factual issues that undermine the company’s defenses both in Ecuador and potentially in various enforcement courts where it faces an $18 billion liability,” she said in a statement.

“First, the panel found that Chevron’s promises several years ago to a U.S. federal court that it would submit to Ecuadorian jurisdiction and pay damages are ‘enforceable’ against Chevron. Second, the panel found that Chevron is the same company as Texaco and therefore is responsible for any misconduct committed in Ecuador by Texaco, despite Chevron’s fallacious arguments to the contrary. Third, the panel found that the Lago Agrio litigation in Ecuador is the same as the original lawsuit filed in New York federal court in 1993, thereby nullifying Chevron’s argument that it is not bound by the Ecuador judgment because the cases are different.

“Finally, the panel expressly confirmed that the environmental claims of the Ecuador plaintiffs cannot be resolved via international arbitration where they are not a party — thereby striking a blow against Chevron’s public claim that arbitration protects it from enforcement of the Ecuador judgment,” Hinton said.

Donziger, in an accompanying 30-page memorandum also filed Monday, railed against Chevron.

He said that Chevron alleges his life work for the last 17 years “is a fraud and akin to organized crime.”

“Having gotten as much bang for its buck out of making these false and malicious allegations as it could possibly get, Chevron now wants to avoid actually having to prove any of its claims and to duck any discovery into its own pervasive wrongdoing,” Donziger wrote.

“Chevron instead wants to put the Republic of Ecuador on trial, because one of its courts had the temerity to issue a detailed, carefully-reason judgment condemning both Chevron’s environmental violations and its years of litigation misconduct undertaken to avoid liability for its environmental damage.”

Chevron alleges that Donziger and the other defendants are leading a fraudulent litigation and public relations campaign against the company, and filed a lawsuit against them last month under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and other state and federal laws.

The company’s suit alleges that the defendants, and certain “non-party co-conspirators,” have used the Ecuador lawsuit to threaten Chevron, mislead U.S. government officials, and harass and intimidate Chevron employees — all to extort a financial settlement from the company.

Chevron, in its memo seeking bifurcation, suggested that the court could order trial of the non-fraud statutory bases under New York’s Recognition Act, C.P.L.R. 5304, and then resolve the fraud basis for non-recognition either as part of an additional, separate proceeding or as part of a consolidated trial with the RICO and state-law claims.

The company said bifurcation will streamline the proceedings “by narrowing the claims to be resolved in the first instance and eliminating certain purported defenses as irrelevant to their disposition.”

If the court decides to bifurcate, Chevron requested that it set a schedule that will result in resolution within the next three to six months.

Donziger says the three- to six-month timeframe proposed by the company does not provide him and the other defendants with nearly enough time, “especially given that Chevron has had a 15-month head start on discovery” and that there is a preliminary injunction in place protecting Chevron in the interim. –by Jessica M Karmasek

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

This article was originally posted at: http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/231783-donziger-requests-argument-rails-against-chevron

Lead photo depicts Steven Donziger, left, and Joe Berlinger, director of the movie “Crude,” on the right.


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Proponents of transparency in the politics are winning disclosure battles one corporation at a time.

The percentage of undisclosed money in the political system went up during last year’s midterm elections. That’s because of a dramatic increase in advertising by anonymously funded freelance organizations such as the American Action Fund and Citizens for Strength and Security.

Much of the money is thought to come from corporations. Now, proponents of transparency are winning disclosure battles one corporation at a time.

What Disclosure Means

The Chevron Corp. voluntarily revealed that last year, it gave $500,000 to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The chamber was one of the top advertisers in last year’s campaigns. It ran political ads, including one hammering Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).

There’s no way to know through disclosure whether Chevron’s money specifically helped to pay for those ads. The U.S. Chamber fights hard to keep its donors secret.

But without Chevron’s online publication of its political contributions, the public wouldn’t know anything about its link to the chamber.

Chevron is among the nearly 50 S&P 100 companies that — along with 30 other corporations — now disclose their political spending.

It’s the result of a quiet, eight-year campaign fought not in Washington but in boardrooms and shareholder meetings around the country.

Changes In Corporate Policies

Many corporations hold their shareholder meetings in the spring. That’s after months of campaigns by activists to make changes in the corporate operations.

“We’re asking companies to disclose and account for their political spending with corporate funds,” says Bruce Freed, president of the Center for Political Accountability.

Freed is a leader in the effort for disclosure and other corporate policies regarding political money. He says the center starts by asking a company to consider changes. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

“Companies in many cases will like to dispose of these issues before them, so they won’t be on the proxy statement,” Freed says. “Shareholders will not be voting on it.”

And when these proposals do come to a vote, Freed says, while the average share of “yes” votes used to be 9 percent, now, it’s around 30 percent. That might sound like a loser in campaign politics, but in a shareholders’ meeting, Freed says, it’s a big vote.

“And [it’s] a very strong signal to management that this is an issue that needs to be addressed by the company,” he says.

A Battle That’s Not Worth Fighting

Many social investment funds like these proposals, as do some of the big pension funds — and even some mainline mutual funds, including Fidelity, Oppenheimer and Schwab.

Legislation to mandate this kind of disclosure failed to pass Congress last year. But the odd thing is, corporations don’t seem all that engaged in the debate.

NPR | “When it Comes to Political Cash, Some Firms Tell All

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In a ruling that shocked human rights and environmental justice advocates the world over, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan granted Chevron an injunction on Monday preventing native Ecuadoreans from collecting $18.2 billion for oil contamination caused by the company in the Amazon. Our Allies with the Amazon Defense Coalition had this powerful statement to share in response to the judge’s ruling:

“This decision is a slap in the face to the democratic nation of Ecuador and the thousands of Ecuadorian citizens who have courageously fought for 18 years to hold Chevron accountable for committing the world’s worst environmental disaster. The trampling of due process in the court’s refusal to consider key evidence or hold a hearing to determine the facts is an inappropriate exercise of judicial power that will harm the United States’ relationship with Latin America and other parts of the world. It disregards the scholarly and comprehensive 188-page opinion of Ecuadorian Judge Nicolas Zambrano, a well-respected member of Ecuador’s judiciary. It also ignores key evidence that Chevron has committed a series of frauds in Ecuador to cover up its unlawful misconduct.

“We want to emphasize that after appeals in Ecuador the Ecuadorian plaintiffs retain their full right to lawfully enforce the judgment of their own country’s courts in any of the dozens of nations around the world where Chevron has assets. In the meantime, we will appeal the decision on multiple grounds.”

Take Action! Join Rainforest Action Network as it seeks to Expose Chevron’s Human Rights Hit Men! at the heart of Chevron’s attack.

This alert was originally sent out to our News and Action list. Be the first to get Global Exchange updates by signing up to our e-mail list.

In recent weeks, the world has seen major turning points in the struggle for justice and human rights. Just last week, after nearly a month of demonstrations and thirty years of living under oppression, the people of Egypt rose up and brought about the resignation of Hosni Mubarak.

This week, there was a major turning point in the struggle against Big Oil when Chevron was found guilty in Ecuador.

Now its time for all of us to join with the plaintiffs in celebration and then get to work, holding Chevron to account and making sure that the company pays up.

After a nearly 18-year-long struggle pitting indigenous communities in Ecuador against Chevron–the world’s fifth largest corporation–and supported by millions of people all around the world (including YOU!) Chevron was found GUILTY.

On February 14, an Ecuadorian court found Chevron guilty of massive environmental contamination in the Ecuadorian Amazon and ordered the company to pay $8.6 billion to clean up its mess, provide potable water, and fund critical health care.

The judge then gave Chevron two weeks to publicly apologize. If it fails to do so, damages will be added to the ruling, and the judgment will be doubled.

The decision vindicates what indigenous peoples and local farmers have been saying, and suffering, for decades – that Chevron drilled, dumped, and never looked back. Now, a court of Chevron’s choosing, using mostly the company’s own evidence, has found that the company is liable in one of the largest judgments against a US company for crimes abroad.

Global Exchange stands with our allies in celebration and solidarity with the 30,000 plaintiffs who have achieved this tremendous milestone in their struggle for justice. We thank you for everything you have done to support them and us.

But just as is the case in Egypt, the struggle is not over. Chevron has announced that it will not pay and that it will appeal the ruling.

We ask you to continue the fight to ensure that Chevron pays up and cleans up its toxic mess.


Visit ChevonToxico.com and send a message to Chevron’s CEO!

Learn More about the lawsuit in our Alternative Annual Report for Chevron.

Support our efforts linking communities across the U.S. and around the world in their struggles against Chevron and Big Oil.

Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter as our efforts to hold Chevron to account continue.

P.S. Global Exchange is hiring! Join the Global Exchange family.

February 14th is a date usually associated with chocolate, flowers and the exchange of Valentine cards. But this February 14th is special, one that now marks the day when a historic verdict was passed down by the Ecuador court against Chevron.

Today, a judge in the Ecuadorian Amazon ruled that Chevron was responsible for polluting the Ecuadorean jungle and ordered Chevron to pay more than $9 billion in damages.

This ruling is in favor of the residents of Ecuador’s Amazon region who have spent the last 18 years seeking damages for crude oil pollution. Chevron has denied the allegations of environmental damage.

From San Francisco to New York and the UK, news is spreading fast about this momentous verdict.

Our friends at Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network had this to say about the ruling in a joint statement released earlier today:

As of today, Chevron’s guilt for extensive oil contamination in the Amazon rainforest is official. It is time Chevron takes responsibility for these environmental and public health damages, which they have fought for the past 18 years.

Today’s ruling in Ecuador against Chevron proves overwhelmingly that the oil giant is responsible for billions (of) gallons of highly toxic waste sludge deliberately dumped into local streams and rivers, which thousands depend on for drinking, bathing, and fishing.

Chevron has spent the last 18 years waging unprecedented public relations and lobbying campaigns to avoid cleaning up the environmental and public health catastrophe it left in the Amazon rainforest. Today’s guilty verdict sends a loud and clear message: It is time Chevron clean up its disastrous mess in Ecuador.

Today’s case is historic and unprecedented. It is the first time Indigenous people have sued a multinational corporation in the country where the crime was committed and won.

Today’s historic ruling against Chevron is a testament to the strength of the Ecuadorian people who have spent 18 years bringing Chevron to justice while suffering the effects of the company’s extensive oil contamination.

Though this ruling is in favor of the residents of Ecuador’s Amazon region, those who have worked hard to get this verdict passed acknowledge that it’s not time to celebrate, but rather, it’s time to demand that Chevron pay up. There is more work to be done, and a long road lay ahead.

Rally Tomorrow at Chevron: Help Declare “Chevron’s guilty!” at Chevron’s headquarters

Global Exchange supports the following call to action from Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network:

If you’re in the California Bay Area, please join others on Tue Feb 15th to gather at Chevron’s headquarters and declare “Chevron’s guilty!”

When: Tuesday, February 15th 11:30am
6001 Bollinger Canyon Road
San Ramon, CA
Where: You can either meet there or join the brigade at 10:00am as it departs on a bio-diesel bus near Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco.
Contact: They have limited space on the bus, so if you’d like to join, call Maria at 202-257-8061.

In the world of organizing against Big Oil, victories often seem far too rare. Thus, when they do occur, we must mark them, celebrate them, and ensure that they stick.

Chevron announced on Friday that it will withdraw from all of its coal operations by the end of 2011.

This is a crucial victory.

We began exposing Chevron’s dirty coal secret in 2009 in our first True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report.

We then reached out to those communities on the front lines of Chevron’s current and planned coal operations, who told their own stories in our 2010 Alternative Annual Report.

John Kinney of Black Warrior Riverkeeper in Alabama described Chevron’s North River Coal Mine in Berry, and its constant toxic waste polluting local ground and surface waters.

Brad Mohrmann of Powder River Basin Sierra Club in Wyoming warned of Chevron’s plans to develop the first new coal mine in the Powder River Basin area in at least a decade. The mine would sit along the Tongue River, an area of both environmental and cultural importance to the Northern Cheyenne Native American community.

Chevron already operates the giant Kemmerer Coal Mine in Wyoming, named one of the most dangerous mines in the nation by Congressman George Miller. This mine was highlighted in our “Thank you, Chevron” Ad campaign by Underground Ads (pictured below.)

Elouise Brown of Dooda Desert Rock in New Mexico wrote of Chevron’s McKinley Mine near Window Rock, 60% of which sits on Navajo land. After 40 years of constant production, the mine is now just about tapped out and concerns now abound as to how the land will be made safe from the deadly contaminants that have been polluting the community for decades.

We made Chevron’s coal operations a central part of our messaging to the press, the public, activists, advocates, policy makers, and Chevron’s shareholders, its board members, and its executives last year, including at Chevron’s Annual Shareholder Meeting.

Together, we demanded that Chevron drop its dirty coal operations – and it did.


Contact Chevron. Thank the company for declaring its plans to sell its coal operations by the end of the year, tell them you’ll be watching to make sure that this pledge is fullfilled, and that the company should now spread this environmental and social commitment to all of its operations.

Contact the groups fighting Chevron’s coal operations
in their own communities and offer your help and support (see links above).

Get Ready! The 2011 Alternative Annual Report is in the works as are plans for Chevron’s 2011 Annual Shareholder Meeting.

Stay connected and learn more about how you can contribute in the weeks to come. Here are a few ways to connect: