Chevron’s Toxic Legacy

Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, Mubadala Development Co. and TX Oil Limited, chaired by Neil Bush, brother of former U.S. President George W. Bush, may gain rights to explore in Turkmenistan’s Caspian Sea blocks.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov told the government to make a choice on bids from those companies for blocks 9 and 20 in the Caspian, according to the government’s website.

Turkmenistan allows international investors the ability to gain equity in offshore exploration while limiting onshore access to its state oil and gas companies. The bulk of Turkmenistan’s known resources, including the world’s fourth- largest reserves of natural gas according to BP Plc data, are in onshore fields in the country’s east.

“Majors are more interested in bigger gas plays onshore, but may believe that a presence offshore would help them achieve this ultimate objective,” Ed Chow, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic International Studies, said by e-mail today.

ConocoPhillips and Abu Dhabi-backed Mubadala have a venture to explore a block in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian together. In April, the two companies had a plan to team up in accessing Turkmen offshore areas, a person familiar with the strategy said at the time.

TX Oil was formed this year to develop opportunities in Turkmenistan. Neil Bush visited the country in February with a letter to his father, President George H.W. Bush, to the Turkmen president, according to the website Bush again visited the Turkmen president in June, according to the website.

E-mails to Chevron asking for confirmation of the bid weren’t immediately returned. TX Oil didn’t immediately return calls. ConocoPhillips didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has profiled some of Chevron’s most offensive operatives as part of their campaign to make the oil giant take responsibility for massive pollution in Ecuador. After almost three decades of drilling activity that ended in 1990, over 18.5 billion gallons of toxic waste was knowingly and haphazardly abandoned by Texaco, which was purchased by Chevron in 2001.

Despite documented human rights abuses worldwide, Chevron has insisted it is not guilty of poisoning Ecuadorian people (and the soil and waterways that sustain them). Chevron has crafted its case through aggressive denial, distracting advertising, staggering amounts of money, and “Human Rights Hitmen” willing to dodge and lie at the expense of people and ecosystems, intentionally boxed out of sight and mind.

RAN profiled the following Chevron Human Rights Hitmen:

R. Hewitt Pate: Chevron vice president and general counsel. Pate was a Justice Department lawyer during the Bush Administration, branded by RAN as “Chevron’s Karl Rove” for his distraction tactics, fabricating small-scale scandals on part of Ecuadorians and their allies in order to ignore Chevron’s large-scale guilt.
Diego Borja: Chevron’s self-described “dirty tricks operative.” Beyond linking Chevron to an “independent” U.S. lab testing samples from contaminated waste sites, Borja videotaped an Ecuadorian judge presiding over the lawsuit against Chevron and released footage edited to imply that the judge had accepted a bribe (he had not). The judge was dismissed from the case.
Andrea E. Neuman and Randy M. Mastro. Both Neuman and Mastro are veteran corporate influence peddlers with DC law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, drawing attention away from the suffering of plaintiffs against Chevron by conjuring pointed personal attacks and claims of bias by the Ecuardorian legal system. Neuman specializes in stomping wronged citizens at the behest of major polluters like Dole Foods and Lockheed Martin.
Sam Anson: Working for Kroll, one of several PR companies hired by Chevron, Anson was caught attempting to hire a journalist to spy on Ecuadorian plaintiffs suing Chevron. The journalist turned down the $20,000 offer and made the scandal public.

The degree of Chevron’s pollution is staggering  and people are paying the price  for their crimes–see it for yourself:

More on the campaign to hold Chevron responsible for its crimes in Equador can be found at Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch, among others documenting the true cost of Chevron’s toxic legacy . More on Chevron can be found in our Polluter Watch profile.Sopurce

Bank of America Corporation’s (NYSE:BAC) former lead attorney Tim Mayopoulos, who is Fannie Mae’s (FNMA) new CEO, will recuse himself in all cases that concern BAC, according to HousingWire. Instead, Mayoploulos confirms that a team of top Fannie Mae executives will make the decisions concerning the buyback issues between the GSE and Bank of America.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) is among the oil firms which are looking into allegations of improper payments to Kazakhastan officials, says the Wall Street Journal. Also investigating the matter are Eni SpA (NYSE:E), and Lukoil (LUKOY). The situation arose when an anonymous email charged that Deutsche Post and the Kazakhastan Post Office authorized regular cash payments to custom officials in Aksai.

Iraq: · Rice’s Chevron Scandal · Iraqi Parliament Wants Timetable for U.S. Withdrawal 2007

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that “Chevron, the second-largest American oil company, is preparing to acknowledge that it should have known kickbacks were being paid to Saddam Hussein on oil it bought from Iraq as part of a defunct United Nations program, according to investigators. … At the time, Condoleezza Rice, now secretary of state, was a member of Chevron’s board and led its public policy committee, which oversaw areas of potential political concerns for the company.” [full text]

Jennings led humanitarian aid projects in Iraq during the period of US-UK sanctions on that country. He said today: “Rice’s former corporation, Chevron, is being fined by the U.S. government for paying illegal kickbacks to Saddam Hussein at a time when Condoleezza Rice was sitting on their board. From August 2000, until January 2001, Rice was on Chevron’s board… Both the Clinton and Bush administrations ignored the ongoing sanctions violations by five U.S. oil companies, even though they were piling up huge profits. American consumers were unknowingly pumping Iraqi oil while Iraq’s children were dying by the tens of thousands under oppressive sanctions. Through it all Saddam got his kickbacks and Rice her profits. After leaving Chevron, she joined Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld in planning their ill-fated attack on Iraq. Coastal Corporation has already paid a fine. Now the Bush administration wants to punish Chevron, but apparently not those persons like Condoleezza Rice under whose nose the scam was performed.”
More Information

Jarrar and Holland wrote the recent piece “Majority of Iraqi Lawmakers Now Reject Occupation,” which states: “On Tuesday, without note in the U.S. media, more than half of the members of Iraq’s parliament rejected the continuing occupation of their country; 144 lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal, according to Nassar Al-Rubaie, a spokesman for the Al Sadr movement, the nationalist Shia group that sponsored the petition.

“It’s a hugely significant development. Lawmakers demanding an end to the occupation now have the upper hand in the Iraqi legislature for the first time; previous attempts at a similar resolution fell just short of the 138 votes needed to pass (there are 275 members of the Iraqi parliament, but many have fled the country’s civil conflict, and at times it’s been difficult to arrive at a quorum).” Jarrar is Iraq consultant for the American Friends Service Committee.Source

Chevron gives up Colo. shale lease as Obama moves to shrink shale activity
Posted on February 29, 2012 by Steve Milloy | 4 Comments

What happened to the “all of the above” energy strategy Obama espoused in his State of the Union?

The Associated Press reports:

Chevron Corp. is giving up its experimental oil shale lease in northwest Colorado, saying it wants to free up its resources for other priorities.

The company is working with the Bureau of Land Management to figure out what to do with the lease, including possibly transferring it to another company, The Grand Junction Sentinel ( reported Tuesday.

Getting petroleum-like substances out of mined oil shale is tougher than pumping oil out of traditional wells. Companies haven’t found an economical way to do it in the U.S.

Chevron had been studying using carbon dioxide to draw out kerogen, a petroleum-like substance, from rock. The company said in a statement that the research was “productive.”

The announcement comes as the Interior Department is considering reducing the area where oil shale research could be conducted in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The administration of George W. Bush opened up 1.9 million acres to oil shale research in 2007, but the Interior Department is looking at reducing that area to as few as 32,640 acres.

Public comments are due May 4, and a decision is expected by the end of the year.

Two other companies hold oil shale leases in Colorado—Royal Dutch Shell and AMSO.

Chevron had three people working full-time on oil shale research along with some part-time workers and all will be reassigned to other projects, Chevron spokesman Cary Baird said. [Emphasis added]

icity and Black PR: Exposing the terrible truths to take down corrupt corporations.
Chevron Oil: Big Boat for Condi, Big Bucks for Bushbama

Chevron Oil: Big Boat for Condi, Big Bucks for Bushbama

“In 2001, Chevron acquired Texaco and became the second largest oil company in the United States. The company produces nearly 3 million barrels of oil a day and has operations in 120 countries. In addition to oil, Chevron also owns a chemicals subsidiary and holds a stake in Dynegy, a power company. Chevron lobbies on all energy issues, including the proposal to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. After never before spending $10 million on federal lobbying efforts, Chevron spent nearly $13 million in 2008, followed by lobbying expenditures of $20.8 million in 2009 and $12.9 million in 2010.”

Like every corporate giant we investigate, Chevron’s political campaign contributions end up in the pockets of both Democrats and Republicans. Historically, however, the Red team has been heavily favored over the Blue. This is understandable, given Chevron’s long-standing ties to the Bush family, as exemplified by this 2005 quote from the Washington Post: “Wayne L. Berman, a principal lobbyist for Chevron, is a Bush ‘Ranger [personal fundraiser]‘, having raised at least $200,000 for the president’s campaign. His wife, Lea, is the White House social secretary.”

Dubya’s Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice pushed through the Chevron/Bush BigCorp/BigGov revolving door more than once. After serving on Bush senior’s National Security Council from 1989 to 1991, in 1992 Chevron brought her onto their Board of Directors to leverage her taxpayer-subsidized political contacts to land a $10 billion contract in Kazakhstan. She must have done a good job, because the next year Chevron named a 129,000-ton supertanker in her honor, the SS Condoleeza Rice. For obvious reasons, shortly after Rice joined the second Bush administration in 2001 her big boat was quietly renamed the SS Altair Voyager:

According to Influence Explorer, Chevron shelled out $12,053,212 in campaign contributions between 1989 and 2010, and they have spent a staggering $82,144,825 on lobbying since 1997. They gave to both Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and Gray Davis (D-CA), and to both John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL), favoring the Republicans in each case:

The 2008 Presidential election in isolation, however, was an exception. In that cycle, Chevron as well as BP and Exxon gave more money to Democratic candidate Obama than they did to Republican candidate McCain:

Perhaps they sensed that “change” was coming, and they wanted to make sure that change was – as it turned out to be – in name only. Or perhaps, they wanted all bases covered because they knew this was coming:

[20-Sep-2011] “Ecuadorans suing Chevron Corp. over pollution in the Amazon rain forest are one step closer to collecting a $9.5 billion judgment against the San Ramon company. A U.S. appeals court on Monday lifted a lower court’s order that had blocked the Ecuadorans from collecting money in the long-running lawsuit. In February, a judge in Ecuador ruled that Chevron should pay to clean up contamination in the oil fields where Texaco, bought by Chevron in 2001, once worked. But the company persuaded a U.S. judge to block enforcement, arguing that the verdict was the result of fraud. Chevron even filed a criminal conspiracy case against the Ecuadorans. Monday’s order by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York put that case on hold. It also lifted the injunction, issued by U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan, that had prevented the Ecuadorans from collecting the massive judgment against Chevron.” Source

The Timeline

Mar 1964 — March 5, Exploration concession signed; Consortium formed (50% Texas Petroleum 50% Gulf Ecuatoriana)

1972 — Trans-Ecuadorian pipeline completed

Aug 1973 — Presidential Executive Decree gives government full regulatory and supervisory authority over Consortium operations

Jun 1974 — Petroecuador acquires 25% share of the Consortium

Dec 1976 — December 31, Petroecuador acquires Gulf’s remaining share, increasing ownership of the Consortium to 62.5% majority interest

Mar 1986 — March 1, Petroecuador acquires 100% ownership of Trans-Ecuadorian pipeline

Oct 1989 — October 1, Petroecuador takes over operation of pipeline

Jun 1990 — June 30, Petroecuador takes over operation of all other Consortium facilities

Jun 1992 — June 7, Consortium contract expires; Petroecuador acquires 100% ownership of the Consortium

Aug 1993 — August 31, Ecuadorian Plaintiffs file Sequihua class action in Texas

Nov 1993 — November 3, Ecuadorian Plaintiffs file Aguinda class action in New York

Jan 1994 — January 27, Federal district court in Texas dismisses Sequihua; (no appeal filed)

Dec 1994 — December 28, Peruvian Plaintiffs, represented by Aguinda counsel, file Jota class action in New York

May 1995 — May 4, Texaco and the Republic of Ecuador sign a comprehensive Settlement Agreement. TexPet finances remediation, social projects, and medical centers

Jun 1996 — Texaco Petroleum signs Settlement Agreements with four municipalities where Consortium operated

Nov 1996 — November 13, Federal district court in New York dismisses Aguinda unconditionally

Aug 1997 — August 12, Federal district court in New York dismisses Jota unconditionally

Sep 1998 — TexPet receives final approval from Republic of Ecuador, certifying completion of work under Settlement Agreement

Oct 1998 — October 5, Second Circuit remands Aguinda and Jota to District Court for re-consideration, requiring Texaco consent to jurisdiction in Ecuador

Nov 1998 — November 11, Ecuador’s Ambassador to U.S. submits letter to Judge Rakoff refusing to waive sovereign immunity in Aguinda and Jota

Nov 1998 — November 17, At post-remand hearing in the district court, Texaco orally consents to jurisdiction in Ecuador and Peru as to Aguinda and Jota plaintiffs

Jan 1999 — January 11, Texaco files its renewed motions to dismiss in Aguinda and Jota with written consents to jurisdiction in Ecuador and Peru

May 2001 — May 30, Federal District Court in New York (Judge Rakoff) dismisses Aguinda and Jota for the reasons and on the terms suggested by Texaco

Jun 2001 — June 29, Plaintiffs file Notices of Appeal in Aguinda and Jota

Oct 2001 — October 9, Chevron and Texaco complete merger to form ChevronTexaco

Nov 2001 — Aguinda and Jota file appellate briefs in the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Aug 2002 — August 16, Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals upholds U.S. District Court decision to dismiss Aguinda and Jota

May 2003 — May 7, Plaintiffs file lawsuit before Superior Court of Nueva Loja in Lago Agrio, Ecuador

Aug 2003 — A second lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Tena in Tena, Ecuador

Sep 2003 — The Superior Court of Tena rejects the complaint based on failure to meet procedural requirements under Ecuadorian law

2003 — Phase one of the trial begins with agreement by the Court, plaintiffs’ lawyers and Chevron to conduct 122 judicial site inspections at oil field sites

March 2004 — Recognized environmental experts commissioned by Chevron conduct inspections of the sites remediated by TexPet and find no evidence of hydrocarbon contamination. During their inspections, experts observed visible evidence of contamination at locations outside TexPet’s area of responsibility, or that were associated Petroecuador’s operations.

Dec. 2004 — Chevron registers strong protest with the Court – Plaintiffs’ violate court rules on sampling and testing process; Fail to follow most basic scientific procedures; disturbing pattern in plaintiffs’ conduct seen as attempt to mislead the public and distort test results

Jan. 2005 — Scientific tests confirm first four sites inspected by Judge are safe – Laboratory findings verify effectiveness of Texpet’s environmental remediation; TexPet met or exceeded all applicable international evaluation criteria

Feb. 2005 — Experts say health studies promoted by lawyers and activists are flawed, biased and inconclusive

Feb. 2005 — Safety of Remediated Sites Confirmed by six scientific reports; No threat to human health from oil-related contaminants

July 2005 — Scientific Analysis from the Judicial Site Inspections Prove No Risks to Health or the Environment Exist; Drinking Water Highly Contaminated from Human and Animal Waste, Not Petroleum Activities

Oct. 2005 — Plaintiffs’ expert reports show pattern of flaws and distortions; Reports lack credible scientific support to validate claims

Feb. 2006 — Plaintiffs lawyers prevent Judge from inspecting laboratory used to analyze their samples; Chevron suspects problems with laboratory technical capability, competency and credentials

Feb. 2006 — Court’s “Expert Report” on Sacha 53 confirms TexPet’s remediation effective and in compliance with legal standards; No significant risk to human health from remediated site

March 2006 — Dr. Michael Kelsh, a renowned expert on environmental health, informed the Court that health studies promoted by plaintiffs “do not provide evidence that diseases were caused by petroleum.”

March 2006 — Superior Court Judge denied for a second time access to laboratory used by plaintiffs; plaintiffs and laboratory in defiance of Court order

March 2006 — Superior Court Judge denied for a third time access to laboratory used by plaintiffs; plaintiffs and laboratory in defiance of Court order

April 2006 — Official court document proves plaintiffs’ attempt to obstruct justice by misrepresenting information to the Court; Plaintiff’s own technical expert submits declaration to protect himself from plaintiffs’ unethical actions

April 2006 — Expert on indigenous cultures presents Court with demographic studies disproving Plaintiffs’ claims about indigenous populations in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Aug. 2006 — Evidence from two years of judicial site inspections shows no significant health risk from oil in areas remediated by TexPet

Oct. 2006 — For sixth time, Judge is prevented from conducting Judicial Inspection on laboratory used by plaintiffs

Nov. 2006 — World renowned experts find Chevron’s sampling and analysis plan effective, comprehensive and scientifically sound for evaluating oilfield sites; Experts find plaintiffs’ allegations baseless and seriously flawed

April 2007 — Laboratory used by Plaintiffs experts blocked for judicial inspection for 7th time; Clear attempt to obstruct justice

April 2007 — Government of Ecuador officials’ visit oil field sites with plaintiffs’ lawyers and improperly interfere in the judicial process

June 2007 — Chevron challenges Court for appointment of Richard Cabrera as the sole expert in the evidentiary phase for determination of the environmental effects of activities related to the production of hydrocarbons in all the fields operated by Texpet; sites violation of the Court’s 2003 order

July 2007 — Epidemiology experts find serious errors in plaintiffs’ cancer studies; Actual cancer rates lower than claimed by Plaintiffs; Findings published in International Medical Journal

July 2007 — Chevron names highly respected independent observer to help ensure integrity of judicial examination; Action necessary given multiple irregularities systematically committed by expert Cabrera

Aug 7 2007 — Federal Court in San Franciso Dismisses Ecuadorian Cancer Claims Against Chevron As Knowingly False

Aug 20 2007 — Chevron Calls for Recusal of Judge in Ecuador Suit

Sep 3, 2007 — Superior Court Again Blocked in 8th Attempt to Inspect Laboratory used by Plaintiffs’ Experts in Environmental Trial Against Chevron

Sep 19, 2007 — Ecuador Plaintiffs’ Have Provided No Evidence to Support Their Cancer Claims

Sep 13 2007 — Use of Secret, Unapproved Research Teams Further Demonstrates Bias and Lack of Transparency in Ecuador Suit

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