Amazon Defense Coalition
14 July 2010 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Karen Hinton at +1.703.798.3109
The Amazon Defense Coalition released this statement today, following oral arguments before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Chevron's effort to obtain 600 hours of documentary outtakes from film director Joe Berlinger. Spokesperson Karen Hinton said:
"We represent 30,000 people in the Amazon of Ecuador; their interests are distinct from those of film director Joe Berlinger. Because of Chevron's reckless drilling practices and gross misconduct, the Amazon communities have suffered almost 50 years from the horrific effects of an oil disaster that is far larger and worse than the BP spill on the Gulf Coast – both in the amount of oil spilled and in the direct impact on the people. Thousands have not only lost their livelihoods, but many have lost their lives to cancer and other oil-related diseases. It is impossible to put a monetary value on this human and environmental tragedy for which the evidence shows Chevron is clearly responsible.
"Chevron's legal theatrics in New York are part of a larger strategy created to evade responsibility for creating the world's worst and longest-lasting environmental catastrophe. Today's hearing was part of a much broader effort by Chevron to launch multiple litigations in various states and countries to hide the company's massive legal and reputational problems in Ecuador from its own shareholders, employees and the public. One thing that is certain is that Berlinger's video outtakes, just like the material in Crude, contain even more evidence that Chevron engaged in reckless misconduct in Ecuador and then concocted a fraudulent cover-up to conceal it from authorities.
"Chevron's potential $27 billion liability in Ecuador for remediation and new health care and drinking water facilities pales in comparison to the $50 billion to $100 billion-plus estimated price tag BP faces for contaminating the Gulf region Chevron argues that the Ecuador damages assessment is inflated. Given what we know about the BP spill, Chevron's argument clearly is part of a charade that must stop."