Thursday, February 5, 2009

Good comment on the Washington Times Story

Oh yeah, also – I saw this comment on today's Washington Times story about Chevron in Ecuador. Thought it did a good job laying out the factual problems with the story.

Take a look:

The article clearly shows how weak Chevron has become in Washington. Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce seems to be down about the company's prospects. That said, there is inaccurate information that needs to be clarified:

*The article reports that Chevron says the legal case was moved from U.S. court (where it was filed in 1993) to Ecuador at the request of the plaintiffs. This is incorrect. The case was moved to Ecuador at Chevron's request after the company submitted ten sworn affidavits from experts claiming the courts in Ecuador were fair. Aguinda v. Texaco, Inc., 142 F.Supp.2d 534 (S.D.N.Y.2001). Once the evidence started to show Chevron's culpability, the company began to claim the Ecuador courts it had previously praised as fair were suddenly unfair.

*The article indicates that the plaintiffs "produced" a documentary film (called Crude, by Emmy award-winning director Joe Berlinger). The plaintiffs had nothing to do with the production of the film, which was made independently.

*The article indicates that lawsuit was filed by only 50 Ecuadorean residents. These individuals, however, represent a class of 30,000 Ecuadorean residents. The damages are almost entirely for environmental clean-up of what many experts consider the worst oil-related contamination on earth – one that resulted from the dumping of 18 billion gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest.