Chevron in Ecuador

The archive of the Clean Up Ecuador campaign website

Chevron Flouts Safety Standards in Its Own Backyard

Amazon Defense Coalition

Amazon Defense Coalition
Contact: Karen Hinton at +1.703.798.3109

San Ramon, CA – The backstory to Chevron's disastrous refinery explosion this week in a small California town can be found thousands of miles away in Ecuador and Nigeria where for years vulnerable communities have been suffering the awful consequences of Chevron's greedy and conflict-ridden corporate culture, according to a new blog by Amazon Defense Coalition.

Chevron's senior management – including CEO John Watson and General Counsel R. Hewitt Pate – are rewarded by the company's weak-kneed Board of Directors with hefty pay increases after failing to adequately address the company's many operational and safety problems, most of which take place in communities of color, says the blog.

Earlier this week in Richmond – a community near San Francisco where 70% of the population is either black or Latino – Chevron caused almost 1,000 people to be hospitalized when a refinery the company operates exploded in a spectacular fire, spewing poisonous hydrocarbons over the city and forcing thousands to remain indoors.

"It is quite clear that Chevron's senior managers receive bonuses for devising strategies to evade the company's legal and moral obligations," said Karen Hinton, the U.S. spokesperson for the indigenous and farmer communities in Ecuador who recently won a $19.04 billion judgment against Chevron after the court found the company dumped toxic waste into Amazon waterways over a 26-year period.

"The Richmond disaster makes it even more obvious that moral rot has taken hold of the company and infected the entire executive suite."

In the meantime, numerous Chevron institutional shareholders are in open rebellion against company management over the Ecuador issue while environmental groups are calling on governments to cut off further business with the oil giant until it begins to respect the rule of law in Ecuador, Richmond, Nigeria and elsewhere.

The blog post can be found here.