Opposition

Campaigners seek fossil fuel whistle blowers

The campaign organisation, Extinction Rebellion, is targeting workers in the oil and gas industry to persuade them to blow the whistle on corporate greenwash.

Photo: Extinction Rebellion

Billboards and online adverts on the professional networking site, LinkedIn, are directed at researchers, scientists and technicians, Extinction Rebellion said today:

“They are best placed to recognise the gulf between their bosses’ public pronouncements and actual efforts to decarbonise”.

The adverts will target staff in four major fossil fuel companies: Shell, Exxon, Total and Chevron.

The first set is aimed at Shell staff, urging them to “Whistle blow for the planet”. Staff will be directed to XR’s TruthTeller whistleblowing platform, launched earlier this year.

The launch follows last week’s acquittal of six XR members on trial for criminal damage at Shell’s London headquarters.

LinkedIn advert targeting Shell employees. Extinction Rebellion

XR said fossil fuel companies had been warned decades ago by their scientific staff about the threat from global warming and the need for immediate action.

It said the industry had thrown doubt on the science and frustrated international agreement. It accused companies of falsely claiming to be prioritising cuts in carbon emissions.

Zoë Blackler, coordinator of XR’s TruthTeller project, said:

“Fossil fuel companies are not decarbonising at anything like the speed required, but you wouldn’t know that from their PR.

“Behind the spin and the greenwash, even those claiming to be working towards net-zero continue to invest heavily in oil and gas, with only minor investment in renewables.

“Some companies have not even set net-zero targets, while making vague boasts that suggest otherwise.

“Outside pressure on these companies to take radical action is mounting daily.

“But for change to happen fast enough there also needs to be pressure from within. Which is why TruthTeller is inviting employees to tell the world what is really going on inside these companies and put their bosses on notice that they are being watched.”

33 replies »

  1. Perhaps XR will pay their salaries, mortgages and pensions when they break their confidentiality clauses in their contracts?

    Shell, Exxon, Total and Chevron are much more likely to save the planet than XR, with their huge resources and R & D budgets.

    • Just to put the issue into perspective as to why such a call for whistleblowers should and needs to be made, is exampled by this report regarding Chevrons activities in Ecuador. There are similar situations that need to be addressed and whistleblown for the activities of Shell, Exxon, and Total.
      This is what happens to lawyers, who successfully prosecuted Chevron. 600+ days of isolation on house arrest with no charge but a case of a minor mis-demeanour. Chevron are refusing to pay the 18 billion dollars (since reduced to 9.5 billion dollars) the judgement that Chevron owes to the Ecuadorian people, the majority of it allocated not just to clean up the soil and water, but to create support healthcare systems and treatment of cancer patients in Ecuador.

      Is it any surprise therefore that organisations such as Extinction Rebellion are asking whistle blowers to step up to be recognised against the patent oppression of the Big Oil and Gas Corporations.

      https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/chevron-criminalize-human-rights-lawyer/

      (Chevron Trying to ‘Criminalize Human Rights Lawyer’ Who Beat Oil Giant in Court: 03/15/21. This is a long transcript. However, for those who will refuse to view to view the video report, it is worth reading the entire transcript so there is no doubt in order to get the true perspective of the criminal activities (Chevron and others are prosecuted criminals) of the Big Oil and Gas Corporations.

      Ten years ago, Chevron was ordered to pay $18 billion for dumping 70 billion litres of toxic waste into the Amazon. The company hasn’t paid a dime, but instead has spent the past decade trying to take down the environmental lawyer who helped bring the landmark case.

      Amy Goodman and Steven Donziger.

      Decades of reckless oil drilling by Chevron have destroyed 1,700 square miles of land in the Ecuadorian Amazon, but the company has refused to pay for the damage or clean up the land, despite losing a lawsuit 10 years ago, when Ecuador’s Supreme Court ordered the oil giant to pay $18 billion on behalf of 30,000 Amazonian Indigenous people.

      Instead of cleaning up the damage, Chevron has spent the past decade waging an unprecedented legal battle to avoid paying for the environmental destruction, while also trying to take down the environmental lawyer Steven Donziger, who helped bring the landmark case. Donziger, who has been on house arrest for nearly 600 days, says Chevron’s legal attacks on him are meant to silence critics and stop other lawsuits against the company for environmental damage.

      “Chevron and its allies have used the judiciary to try to attack the very idea of corporate accountability and environmental justice work that leads to significant judgments,” Donziger says.

      We also speak with Paul Paz y Miño, associate director at Amazon Watch, who says the new attorney general should conduct a review of the case and the dubious grounds for Donziger’s house arrest. “The real thing that’s going on here is Chevron is attempting to literally criminalize a human rights lawyer who beat them,” Paz y Miño says.)

      Read the transcript here:

      (Amy Goodman: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

      We turn now to what’s been described as the Amazon’s Chernobyl — 1,700 square miles of land in the Ecuadorian Amazon devastated by decades of reckless oil drilling. Ten years ago, Ecuador’s Supreme Court ordered Chevron to pay $18 billion for dumping over 70 billion liters of oil and toxic waste into the Amazon. The ruling came in a lawsuit brought on behalf of 30,000 Amazonian Indigenous people who had been suffering since the mid-’60s, when Texaco began drilling on their ancestral land. Chevron bought Texaco in 2000.

      The landmark ruling was seen as a major victory for the environment and corporate accountability. But Chevron refused to pay or clean up the land. Amazon Watch has spent years documenting the environmental destruction in Ecuador. This is part of a short video produced by the group and narrated by the actor Peter Coyote.

      Peter Coyote: Today, in an Amazon rainforest region of northeastern Ecuador called the Oriente, tens of thousands of men, women and children are surrounded on all sides by widespread oil contamination, the soil polluted, the water poisoned. Over nearly 25 years in Ecuador, American oil giant Chevron, in the form of its predecessor company Texaco, engaged in reckless pump-and-dump oil operations that ravaged thousands of square miles of once-pristine Amazon rainforest.

      To increase its profit margin by a few dollars per barrel of oil, the company cut corners and used a populated rainforest ecosystem as its toxic dumping grounds. The result? Tens of thousands of people who live in what was once a paradise on Earth now face a horrific epidemic of cancer, birth defects, miscarriages and other oil-related illness. And the Indigenous peoples, who have lived off the bounty of the rainforest for countless generations, now struggle for survival.

      Amy Goodman: Instead of cleaning up the Ecuadorian Amazon, Chevron has spent the past decade waging an unprecedented legal battle to avoid paying for the environmental damage, while also trying to take down the environmental lawyer Steven Donziger, who helped bring the landmark case. With the help of dozens of law firms, Chevron has ended Donziger’s legal career. He’s been disbarred. His bank accounts have been frozen. He has been forced to surrender his passport.

      Steve Donziger has also been under house arrest for nearly 600 days, after a federal judge drafted criminal [contempt] charges against him for refusing to turn over his cellphone and computer. In an unusual legal twist, the judge appointed a private law firm with ties to Chevron to prosecute Donziger, after federal prosecutors declined to bring charges.

      Many of his supporters see Donziger as a corporate political prisoner. His case is attracting growing attention with the legal world, as well as among environmentalists and human rights activists. Fifty-five Nobel laureates, including 10 recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, have called for an end to the judicial attacks on Donziger. A coalition of groups, including Amnesty International, Amazon Watch, the National Lawyers Guild and others, recently wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to investigate what they describe as, quote, “disturbing legal attacks” on Donziger. Last week, an appeals court threw out a key contempt finding against Donziger, who’s now waiting to hear if he’ll be freed from house arrest.

      Steve Donziger joins us now from his New York home. We’re also joined by Paul Paz y Miño in Oakland, associate director at Amazon Watch. He has been working on the Clean Up Ecuador Campaign for the last 14 years.

      We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Steve Donziger, thanks so much for joining us. Why are you under house arrest? Are you currently wearing an ankle bracelet, a shackle?

      Steve Donziger: I am. I am wearing an ankle bracelet. It’s about the size of a garage door opener. It’s been on my ankle since Aug. 6, 2019. I sleep with it. I eat with that. I bathe with it. It never leaves my ankle. And it allows the government to monitor my whereabouts on a 24/7 basis.

      I mean, the fundamental issue here is Chevron destroyed the Ecuadorian Amazon, and I was part of a legal team that held the company accountable. The decision in Ecuador has been affirmed by multiple appellate courts in Ecuador and Canada.

      What Chevron did is, rather than pay the judgment that it owes to the thousands of people in Ecuador that it poisoned, it’s gone after me and other lawyers. And in the United States, Chevron sued me for $60 billion, which is the largest potential personal liability in the history of our country. I’m a human rights lawyer. I live in a two-bedroom apartment with my wife and son on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

      Chevron then launched a campaign to really try to drive me out of the case. And as part of their strategy, they demanded to see my confidential communications with my clients, including everything on my cellphone and computer. And when I appealed that to the higher court here in New York, while the appeal was pending, Judge Kaplan charged me with criminal contempt of court for not complying with the order while the lawfulness of the order was under appeal. He then had me locked up in my home.

      This is a misdemeanor charge with a maximum sentence of 180 days in prison. I assert my complete innocence. He appointed a judge, who denied me a jury. And I am the only person in the history of this country, as far as we can tell, who’s charged with a misdemeanor in the federal system, who has no criminal record, who has ever been held for even one day pretrial.

      And I’ve now been held 585 days on a charge that, if I were to be found guilty, would lead to a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail. And it’s very unlikely I would go to jail, because the longest sentence ever imposed on a lawyer convicted in this district of criminal contempt is 90 days of home confinement. And I’ve already served more than six times that.

      So, what’s really happening here is, Chevron and its allies have used the judiciary to try to attack the very idea of corporate accountability and environmental justice work that leads to significant judgments. And I think they’re not only trying to retaliate against me; they’re trying to send a broader message to the activist community, to the legal community, that these types of cases, that truly challenge the fossil fuel industry, that are intimately connected to the survival of our planet, should not be allowed to happen in court, at least not at this level.

      And I am hoping — and we had a huge victory last week in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, where Judge Kaplan’s main contempt finding against me was thrown out. And I am hoping cooler heads prevail and the 2nd Circuit issues another decision, based on last week’s argument, that allows me to get my freedom back.

      Amy Goodman: Everything about this is so unusual, so astounding. Can you explain what Rule 42 is and the idea that the judge could not get federal prosecutors to indict you, so he was able to choose a private law firm, a lawyer from a private law firm connected to Chevron, and he went after you?

      Steve Donziger: Well, I don’t think this is proper, and I don’t think it’s legal. It is legal for a judge to charge someone with criminal contempt with an adequate basis. I don’t think one exists here. The judge is then obligated, under Rule 42, to take the charges to the regular prosecutor, the professional prosecutor’s office. And in this case, the professional prosecutor refused to bring the case — and, I think, for good reason, again, because I don’t think — this is all about me doing my job as a lawyer and trying to defend my clients’ rights. It isn’t about me defying the court. I was seeking more court review. I wasn’t defying the court when I appealed Judge Kaplan’s order, that turned out to be unlawful.

      So, when the prosecutor refused to bring the case, Judge Kaplan appointed a private law firm. Now, it is legal for a judge to appoint a private lawyer to prosecute in those circumstances, but it is not proper to appoint a law firm that has financial ties to Chevron and has an attorney-client relationship to Chevron. I mean, I am essentially being prosecuted by Chevron.

      The law firm’s name, by the way, is Seward & Kissel. They’re a kind of a midsize law firm here in New York. What’s really unusual about this is, not only does Seward & Kissel have a financial relationship with Chevron, they have close ties to the oil and gas industry generally, and they’re billing taxpayers for my misdemeanor prosecution. So far they’ve been paid by taxpayers $464,000 to prosecute and detain me on a misdemeanor contempt charge. My guess is they’ve actually been paid a lot more. We haven’t seen all of their bills.

      But this is — make no mistake about it, Amy — this is a for-profit, private, corporate prosecution of a human rights lawyer in the name of the government. And it’s never happened before in the history of this country. It’s terrifying, not just for me and my family, but, I think, for anyone who does this work. And I’m hoping that more and more people will notice it, and pressure will build so it has to stop. As a matter of fact, the letter to Merrick Garland by Amnesty International and other groups specifically asks him, in the Justice Department, to review what we believe is the mishandling of this case and these flagrant conflicts of interest that have allowed a private corporation’s law firm to act in the name of the state to deprive a human rights lawyer of his liberty.

      It’s just not right. It’s not what we know our judicial system to be. And I have to say, people around the world are appalled. I’m talking about serious lawyers from countries all over the world, who have supported the Ecuadorians and supported their lawyers, are appalled to watch this happening in the United States of America.

      Amy Goodman: So, Steve, as you pointed out and as we began the lede, this — ultimately, this larger story is not about you. It’s about the devastation of Ecuador. And it’s what you point out repeatedly, how you got involved with this. Can you talk about the $9.5 billion — it was actually initially $18 billion — judgment that Chevron owes to the Ecuadorian people, the majority of it allocated not just to clean up the soil and water, but to create support healthcare systems and treatment of cancer patients? The significance — what was it — that first got you interested in this and that continues to this day?

      Steve Donziger: Well, thank you, Amy. I mean, first of all, thanks for bringing that up, because, ultimately, this is not about Steven Donziger. Chevron wants that to be the story. This is about what Chevron did to poison the Amazon and Ecuador and really devastate the lives of tens of thousands of people, including resulting in death to thousands of people from cancers and other oil-related diseases.

      I first went to Ecuador in 1993 as part of a team of lawyers and doctors, led by Cristóbal Bonifaz, to investigate this matter. I was kind of a marginal lawyer on a much larger team for several years. As the case evolved, I became more and more involved. I’ve worked on other cases, by the way. And I want to be clear: This is not my case. This is a case that is controlled and owned by the affected communities in Ecuador, who have a lot of other lawyers working on this. But like other people on that first trip, I couldn’t turn my back on this problem.

      We have really tried, year after year, to seek a remedy, to help save lives, to help repair the Amazon, to hold Chevron accountable so this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. And we were very successful in our work. I mean, the judgment in Ecuador has been affirmed by Ecuador’s Supreme Court, by Ecuador’s Constitutional Court. It’s been affirmed by Canada’s Supreme Court for enforcement purposes in a unanimous decision in 2015.

      And the attacks on me really are efforts to utilize a New York federal judge to essentially disable my advocacy, because I’ve been so involved over so many years in so many aspects of this case, including fundraising. I’ve been to Ecuador over 200 times to meet with my clients. They don’t want me involved in this case ,and they calculated that if I’m locked up in my home, the case will somehow die.

      I will say this, as a quick point: The case is very viable. There are lawyers in different countries around the world exploring opportunities to enforce the judgment against Chevron’s assets. And that is happening completely independent of me.

      So, while I really pray for me and my family to get a good outcome, I want to return to my work as a human rights lawyer or as a human rights advocate. This case will go on with or without me. And it’s very important people understand it has the backing of courts all over the world, except this trial judge in the appellate court here in New York, which have, really, I think, gone out of their way, based on highly questionable evidence that Chevron has presented, to try to attack me and the Ecuadorians.

      Amy Goodman: So, I wanted to bring Paul Paz y Miño into this conversation, associate director of Amazon Watch. You, Amnesty International, National Lawyers Guild and others are now appealing to Attorney General Merrick Garland. If you can talk about both what you’re asking him to do — and then, you, too, as being involved with Amazon Watch and other groups, have been deeply involved with Ecuador. Your family lineage is back to Ecuador. Can you talk about what needs to happen now?

      Paul Paz y Miño: Yes, absolutely. Thank you. And thanks for covering this issue, Amy. I can’t think of a more important topic when it comes to climate justice, corporate accountability and what we’re facing in terms of corporate power in the U.S.

      The letter that Amazon Watch and Amnesty USA and other groups have sent is, as Steven pointed out, requesting that the new attorney general conduct a review of how this case has been handled, because of improper acts of targeting Steven Donziger and locking him up in his home for a year and a half on misdemeanor contempt of court charges.

      The real thing that’s going on here is Chevron is attempting to literally criminalize a human rights lawyer who beat them. He’s never been accused, let alone convicted, of a crime anywhere. And now Chevron’s machinations by Lewis Kaplan, this federal judge, and Preska, the judge that he has appointed, are on the cusp of turning him into a criminal because he didn’t comply with Kaplan’s outrageous contempt of court orders.

      And so, Steven Donziger, for Chevron, is a tactic. It’s a tactic for them to avoid talking about what they actually did, and have the world not look at what they actually did in the Ecuadorian Amazon. And what we want, as the human rights and environmental justice community, is for this new administration to check the corporate power that has manipulated the judicial system to turn Steven Donziger into an example of what will happen if you stand up to corporate power in the United States. And it’s a seriously chilling one.

      There is a coalition of organizations called Protect the Protest, which includes Amnesty and us and Greenpeace and many other groups, who have banded together to protect each other from corporate SLAPP attacks. And that’s essentially what we’re seeing in this case, because the —

      Amy Goodman: And explain the term ”SLAPP attack.”

      Paul Paz y Miño: ”SLAPP” stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” And this is how corporations prevent activists and organizations from standing up to their abuses. They immediately hit them with baseless lawsuits and force them to spend all the money, sometimes, that they have to defend themselves. And many states in the country do not have anti-SLAPP legislation. So, if they file it in the right place, you are forced to defend yourself against a massive legal team, in some cases. And in Chevron’s case, we’re talking about 60 law firms.

      Make no mistake: They did not just go after Steven Donziger, although Steven has been the target of their abuse. They came after Amazon Watch. They came after Rainforest Action Network. They came after their own shareholders. They came after journalists. This has been a scorched-earth tactic by Chevron and their “kill step” law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, based in D.C. Gibson, Dunn prides itself on what they call the kill step, which is a way to avoid international judgments on U.S. corporations by going after them in the United States.

      And what’s so important about this is that the environmental racism that has been steeped from day one by the operations of a U.S. oil company is now being aided and abetted by the U.S. judiciary, because what happened is, the Ecuadorians have never had access to justice in the United States. As you heard from Steven, when the suit was first brought against Texaco in New York, they spent eight years fighting. And then New York’s same district that is now holding Steven in his home sent the case back to Ecuador, saying that it was an improper venue. This is based on Texaco arguing it should not be in New York.

      So, again, the Ecuadorians, who have been suffering with pollution every single day, took their case again to Ecuador and fought for almost another decade to hold Chevron to account. And after they got that judgment — actually, two weeks prior to that judgment, Chevron preemptively sued, back in New York, to prevent them from ever bringing that judgment to the United States.

      And the reason that’s important is that they escaped the situation where they would be faced with the facts of their abuses in the Amazon, and a judge in the United States has yet to look at the facts of what they did and determine that they should pay to clean up. And what’s dangerous for Chevron is that it’s only in the United States where they’ve been protected, but they have assets around the world.

      So, when Steven Donziger was working with others to enforce that judgment internationally, that’s when they turned not only to their SLAPP suit, but to criminalizing him, silencing him and making sure that he can’t continue his work to enforce that Ecuadorian judgment.

      Amy Goodman: Vice produced a short documentary titled “The World’s Worst Oil Related Disaster You’ve Never Heard Of.” I want to go to a clip.

      Pablo Fajardo: [translated] Texaco utilized the cheapest technology in order to maximize their profit and economic resources, but in exchange for a larger impact on the environment and on people’s health.

      Rosa Moreno: [translated] Out of every 20 babies that are born, 15 or 16 have this same condition.

      Ecuadorian Mother: [translated] And now my daughter, who is so young to have a disease such as cancer.

      Amy Goodman: Steve Donziger, you tweeted, “Indigenous leader Emergildo Criollo of the Cofan is a man I greatly admire. He was a driving force behind the successful lawsuit against Chevron. Chevron engineers told him that oil was ‘like milk’ and full of vitamins. He lost two children to cancer.” Can you talk about him?

      Steve Donziger: Oh my god. Emergildo is one of the great leaders in the Ecuadorian Amazon who has been one of the driving forces behind the lawsuit for years. I’ve known him since the early 1990s. He’s a leader of the Cofán Indigenous people. He tells these incredible stories from the 1980s, when he was a young man. He lost children to the oil contamination.

      And when the Indigenous peoples complained about it, the Chevron engineers would say, “Oh, no, this is not a problem. This stuff has vitamins in it. It’s like milk.” I mean, can you imagine the level of disrespect and the level of abuse?

      And it really raises a larger issue, which is, this case has been led by people like Emergildo and other Indigenous leaders and shamans and rural community leaders, like Luis Yanza and other Ecuadorian lawyers, who won a resounding victory in court. This case really isn’t about me. Chevron has tried to make a caricature out of this case by focusing on me. And it’s important to focus on the people who are really, really suffering and continue to suffer down in Ecuador.

      Amy Goodman: We only have 10 seconds, but, so, there was a judgment, reduced to $9 billion. What happens now?

      Steve Donziger: The Ecuadorians, with their lawyers, will continue to try to enforce the judgment against Chevron’s assets and force the company to comply with the law. We’ve held them accountable. We won the judgment. We will continue to hold them accountable, forcing them to actually pay the judgment. So, this case is viable and still going on.

      Amy Goodman: And you remain under house arrest after 600 days.

      Steve Donziger: Yes, yes.

      Amy Goodman: , I want to thank you for being with us, human rights lawyer who successfully sued Chevron in Ecuador, waiting to hear if he will be freed after nearly 600 days of house arrest.)

      Originally published by Democracy Now!

      There are similar cases to made against Shell, Exxon, and Total. So much for ‘Shell, Exxon, Total and Chevron are much more likely to save the planet than XR, with their huge resources and R & D budgets’. So much for Shell, Exxon, Total and Chevron remotely being given the opportunity for ‘saving the planet’. Apparently the opposite is far more likely.

      • I apologise in advance for not reading all your post David – you are missing the point. Actually two points. Without big oil on side and working to reduce their dependence on oil and gas, which they are doing in order to keep in business, the necessary funding required to find cost effective solutions will not be forthcoming. I don’t see XR contributing to any R & D for fossil fuel replacement – do you?

        The other point is clear if you look at the link below:

        https://www.offshore-technology.com/features/companies-by-oil-production/

        None of the XR four targets are even in the top five (by production) and only two are in the top ten. And see Hewes62 post below.

        Perhaps XR will pay their salaries, mortgages and pensions when they break their confidentiality clauses in their contracts? – I assume you think not?

        Shell, Exxon, Total and Chevron are much more likely to save the planet than XR, with their huge resources and R & D budgets – I see no mechanism for XR doing anything positive / productive to save the planet – you obviously do, but I am a realist.

        • Hello Paul Tresto. Maybe the video will be more acceptable. That was why I supplied both. If however you will not look at either. Then you have no argument of any import since you are not informed of the reason for my post. So by that alone, it is you who are missing the point(s).
          What has, whether Extinction Rebellion have $18 billion or $9.5 billion got to do with Chevron? and, if they did, who would they be ‘saving the planet’ from? The point is towards Chevron and the other Big Oil and Gas Corporations do have those amounts but are patently doing nothing about honouring their legal and honour debt.
          The ‘point’ is more that Chevron in particular does have that amount to spend. But rather than honouring their legal obligations in Ecuador, and paying their legally enforceable debt to the people of Ecuador, they prefer to spend millions of dollars in persecuting Steve Donziger for daring to prosecute Chevron successfully in a court of law.
          Have you an argument that justifies that?
          Why do you think there is a call for whistle blowers at all? Whether it be from Extinction Rebellion or anyone else is unimportant. I have no axe to grind about Extinction Rebellion one way or the other. Obviously there are some who are very much disturbed by them. As evidenced in this blog.
          But a successfully prosecuted fine that Chevron have not honoured their obligation or paid one cent of a prosecution ten years old is criminally ignored. There are enough ‘missed points’ right there to sway any court of law.
          What would you call that? Criminal negligence? Contempt of court? Worse?
          The judgement that Chevron legally owes to the Ecuadorian people, the majority of it allocated not just to clean up the soil and water, but to create support healthcare systems and treatment of cancer patients in Ecuador is not being honoured, and that is ‘the point’ and the reason for calls for whistle blowers and the reason for my post, no matter if you read it or not.

          • More on Steve Donziger……

            https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkrauss/2020/08/13/steven-donziger-is-disbarred/?sh=9631c76771af

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Donziger

            https://www.wsj.com/articles/steven-donziger-gets-his-due-1531522551

            “Readers may recall Mr. Donziger’s years-long effort to shake down Texaco (now merged with Chevron) for its alleged failure to clean up oil pits that it had drilled in Ecuador during the 1970s. Chevron claimed it had cleaned up the pits, but the plaintiff attorney exploited the left’s loathing of Big Oil and Ecuador’s shaky legal system. Many in the American media fell for it too.

            An Ecuadorian court held Chevron liable for $8.6 billion in damages. But Chevron fought back, and federal Judge Lewis Kaplan in 2014 exonerated the company. In a 485-page decision, Judge Kaplan rebuked Mr. Donziger for engaging in judicial bribery, coercion, witness tampering and hiring of an American consulting firm to ghostwrite an expert’s reports, among other offenses against legal ethics.”

            I have no idea what the facts really are but there does appear to be another side to this Texaco issue.

            • Heaven forbid that could be the case Paul!

              But, once again so much text from the antis but still editing out complete chunks of the story.

              [Edited by moderator]

          • Hello again Paul Tresto. An interesting reply. However it just reveals that your reply is again missing the point(s) of the real issues and the reasons why whistle blowers have been called out to tell the truth.
            Just to repeat and compound the same deviation from the pollution and poisoning of the Ecuadorians into the outrageous and almost unprecedented attack on Steven Donziger is no defence for Chevron.
            Chevron refused to be bound by the legal Ecuadorian court of law which was prosecuted successfully by Steven Donziger amongst others for Chevrons activities in the Amazon.
            I will ask you again, since you have not answered or referred to the questions: What would you call that? Criminal negligence? Contempt of court? Worse?

            Your reply also fails to address the real issue by the same deviation from the successfully prosecuted crime of Chevron committing decades of reckless oil drilling. Which has destroyed 1,700 square miles of land in the Ecuadorian Amazon. So similarly to Chevron your reply deviates into the unprecedented persecution and victimisation of Steven Donziger by Chevron. the links you provide only state one side of the issues. So by association merely

            Steven Donzigers only ‘crime’ was to refuse to allow the court to take possession of his phone and computer which had his records and contacts of the people who were and are still suffering. The refusal to allow the court to take possession of his phone and computer records was a perfectly legitimate protection of the confidentiality of his clients. All the subsequent accusations and the disbarring were the result of further unsubstantiated accusations which have never been tried in any court of law since they cant be proven. The 600+ days of house arrest is also unprecedented. That perhaps provides an indication the depths to which the legal system has sunk in USA. Since a trial will at some point be chosen no doubt, to repeat unproven accusations without evidence could be considered a contempt of court.

            The real issue regarding Chevron is that they have refused to pay for the damage or clean up the land, despite losing a lawsuit 10 years ago, when Ecuador’s Supreme Court ordered the oil giant to pay $18 billion on behalf of 30,000 Amazonian Indigenous people. The result of those decades of toxic waste dumping into the Ecuadorian Amazon has so polluted the environment that native Ecuadorian adults and chidren have and are dying of cancer and suffering from all the other serious and deadly health conditions.

            Your reply states;
            ‘I have no idea what the facts really are but there does appear to be another side to this Texaco issue.’ However, there are indeed several ‘sides’ to this situation buried in the legal machinations and deviations. One of those missing points however, is the suffering of the Ecuadorian people in the Amazon which is not being addressed due to the concentration on Steven Donziger.

            Estimates are that 10,000 deaths resulting from toxic oil pollution will occur by 2080 is little or nothing is done. Recent figures are already close to that. That alone indicates the debt Chevron owe to the Amazonian Ecuadorians. Also it is not Texaco any more. Texaco ceased to exist. Chevron bought out Texaco in 2000. So it is a Chevron issue. The name change does not absolve Chevron from culpability or responsibility for the toxic pollution and deaths they have caused. The ‘clean up’ operations such as they were, are perfunctory and inadequate at best considering the extent of the toxic pollution which can only spread.

            https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/oil-and-cancer-in-ecuador/
            http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_61185.shtml
            http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_75748.shtml

            The growing destabilisation of the political situation in Ecuador is perhaps more telling of the external governmental powers and influence by the corporations efforts as seen elsewhere to control and destabilise the growing consensus fury at the Big Oil cancer causing toxic pollution in their midst rather than a strictly internal affair.

            The true perspective of the issue only illustrates the efforts by Chevron to deviate from the crime they have been successfully charged with in the Ecuadorian courts of law. To paraphrase your own words and to bring that back into the wider perspective, all this conversation serves is to show that Shell, Exxon, Total and Chevron amongst others are clearly several of the major causes of the the danger to the planets life resources and ecologies, not the saviours. With their huge resources and R & D budgets spent on victimising and persecuting individuals who successfully bring a legal court case against them, rather than addressing their own culpable iniquities – I see no mechanism for Shell, Exxon, Total and Chevron doing anything positive / productive to save the planet – you obviously do, but there again, I am a realist.

              • Thank you for your reply Paul Tresto.
                Aside from those issues you mention on which we disagree.

                The major issue which is not acknowledged or referred to in your replies. Is the culpability that Chevron is legally obliged to honour the $18 billion/$9.5 billion + cost for cleaning up the toxic environmental pollution they have caused. None of that has been honoured or addressed.

                We disagree on the Extinction Rebellion whistle blower campaign and the real issues of the Chevron culpability for toxic waste pollution of over 1700 square miles of the formerly unique and pristine Ecuadorian Amazon and the cancer and deaths of the indigenous peoples– So let’s see what happens about that?

                • How about the cancer in children in the DRC, David?

                  That is a factual example of the “something must be done” mentality, but I don’t see XR campaigning against EVs.

                • David – I have now read a bit more about the Texaco case in Ecuador and it would appear to me that Chevron have a strong case – as confirmed by several courts including the Hague.

                  https://www.chevron.com/ecuador

                  The page of press releases makes interesting reading.

                • Hello again Paul Tresto. Thanks for the press release from Chevron.
                  But again it only serves to divert the focus onto Steven Donziger and away from Chevrons responsibilities to the Ecuadorian Amazons people. They are still suffering death and severe health issues and the formerly pristine Ecuadorian Amazon is still a comparative toxic waste dump to what it was prior to Texacos involvement with the Ecuadorian Government. Chevron took over Texaco and therefore inherited Texacos debt even though they claimed to be ‘minor partner’ whatever that means regarding Texaco/Chevrons responsibility for the toxic waste dumping is of course who had actually perpetrated to toxic waste pollution. The bad press Chevron received after incorporating Texaco Petroleum (TexPet) into Chevron. Petroecuador the 1700 square miles of toxic waste pollution and the deaths of the indigenous people is then carefully off loaded onto Petroecuador in 1992. So, did Chevron then have no presence or financial interests in Petroecuador from 1992?

                  The Chevron press release is somewhat indicative of denial and passing the buck on this as can be seen here.

                  ‘Chevron has never operated in Ecuador. Texaco Petroleum (TexPet), which became a subsidiary of Chevron in 2001, was a minority partner in an oil-production consortium in Ecuador along with the state-owned oil company, Petroecuador, from 1964 to 1992. After TexPet turned its remaining share of the oil operations over to Petroecuador in 1992, pursuant to an agreement with Ecuador, TexPet agreed to conduct a remediation of selected production sites while Petroecuador committed to perform any remaining cleanup. The government of Ecuador oversaw and certified the successful completion of TexPet’s remediation and fully released TexPet from further environmental liability. Petroecuador, however, failed to conduct the cleanup it promised and has continued to operate and expand oil operations in the former concession over the past 20 years.’

                  So to unravel the text in just that single paragraph is rather more revealing.

                  ‘Chevron has never operated in Ecuador. Texaco Petroleum (TexPet), which became a subsidiary of Chevron in 2001, was a minority partner in an oil-production consortium in Ecuador along with the state-owned oil company Petroecuador, from 1964 to 1992.’

                  So are Chevron disavowing themselves of any responsibility for Texaco’s operations and the subsequent toxic pollution of the formerly pristine Ecuadorian Amazon? Surely by taking over Texaco, Chevron are legally responsible for Texaco’s toxic pollution of the Ecuadorian Amazon whether they were a ‘minor shareholder’ or not?

                  So the next step from Chevron’s press release, is to say that

                  ‘After TexPet turned its remaining share of the oil operations over to Petroecuador in 1992, pursuant to an agreement with Ecuador, TexPet agreed to conduct a remediation of selected production sites while Petroecuador committed to perform any remaining cleanup.’

                  Notice the ‘selected production sites’ restriction to the intended cleanup. No mention of the total and much wider 1700+ square miles of Ecuadorian Amazon which were and are still polluted.

                  So the press release goes on to say that

                  ‘The government of Ecuador oversaw and certified the successful completion of TexPet’s remediation and fully released TexPet from further environmental liability. Petroecuador, however, failed to conduct the cleanup it promised and has continued to operate and expand oil operations in the former concession over the past 20 years.’

                  That says it all. So, lots of legal off loading of responsibility onto each legal others shoulders and clean up of ‘selected sites’ which ”The government of Ecuador oversaw and certified the successful completion of TexPet’s remediation and fully released TexPet from further environmental liability’

                  But nothing for the indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon who are still to this day suffering from deaths of adults and children from cancer and other severe health conditions resulting from the toxic waste dumping by corporations and government who appear to only interested in absolving themselves and each other of any legal responsibility. Whilst of course leaving the indigenous native people to suffer even more by continued toxic waste dumping.

                  What I see there is that almost anything can be done with the law if you have enough highly paid lawyers with enough participants desperate to avoid responsibility and do the absolute minimum and then walk away free healthy and laughing.

                  If you compare that with the toxic polluted conditions and the severe health and deaths from cancer fate that the indigenous Amazonian Ecuadorians have to live with every day of the week.

                  What would you say to those indigenous Amazonian Ecuadorian people in Chevrons/Texaco/Petroecuador/government of Ecuador’s defence? Would you and I simply wash ourselves and everyone else’s hands of any legal responsibility for their deaths and toxic environment and have the one privilege that the indigenous Amazonian Ecuadorian people don’t have? To walk away unscathed and have no legal responsibility?

                  Could you and I even contemplate doing that to another human being, let alone tens if not hundreds of thousands of innocent people?

                  Because by all the accounts we see with the Ecuadorian Amazon, apparently, there are those who would, and did, and have done just that.

                  Have a healthy and unpolluted Bank Holiday.

              • Then I suggest you write to Extinction Rebellion and point that out to them. I’m sure you will be received amicably judging from your previous complements.
                Personally however I will not support or approve of any exploitation of children or adults for any reason whatsoever, regardless of excuse. That exploitation is an abomination and a crime to humanity wherever it occurs. Ecuador is a prime example. Judging by your attitude towards the exploitation of humans of any age. I am sure you will equally condemn Chevron for their toxic waste pollution spills and those of countless similar examples elsewhere.

                Are you any relation to Martin Collyer by the way? A similar name I see, so I guess you needed to differentiate between yourselves?

                • Oh, I think I have made it perfectly clear David, that I believe oil and gas from on shore UK has many advantages-including the fact that UK standards are so much higher and can easily be observed by UK citizens. I certainly dislike off shoring our responsibilities, and then finding where we off shore them to have issues, and not only with oil and gas-the only point where I agree with Greta. Shame XR are somewhat selective in that respect, but not surprising. They do follow the strange fixation with the one sided equations, but most activist groups do.

                  I am sure there are many Martin Collyers out there. I certainly know of more than one. Whether they enjoy a Freddie in their midst, maybe not, and certainly not as common as David King, with or without Freddie.

                • Ahh, the NASA reply. Never A Straight Answer. The same then. I recognise the equivocal splenetic disposition. Best to be sure and best ignored in future.

                • The answer was there David.

                  Yours was the politicians poor excuse that the answer was inconvenient so it had not been supplied.

                  But, if you still want to waste time on silly name games-last seen in the playground-just think if we got together we could produce Martin King. But, that’s been done before, and might not produce the same result.

                  For someone who spends so much effort on a keyboard perhaps familiarize yourself with the sort of automatic facilities that some systems offer? I suspect any child around 11 should be able to explain, but not my job.

                  Of course, no one noticed your contrived avoidance to address the benefits of UK produced oil/gas to deal with the issues you raised. LOL.

                • Your comments keep disappearing ‘Freddy’? And I would certainly have ignored them if they hadn’t.
                  It must have been one of your fantasy ‘Romulan Cloaking Devices’???!!!

                  And that just about it sums up.

      • Thanks for demonstrating how the UK should therefore maximize on shore oil and gas within the UK, David!

        Looks as if XR need to spend their time concentrating on countries with more lax controls than within the UK where controls are so much better. Another consequence of the “something needs to be done” nonsense without thinking it through.

        Meanwhile, XR continues to campaign against HH whilst cargoes of oil continue to arrive in the UK from over the horizon. “Saving the planet”? The opposite is FACT.

      • Really good examination of the problem of enforcing judgements against multinationals.
        We did say that fracking the UK would both start and finish at Preston New Road. Thank Heaven we were correct!
        I wouldn’t expect our legal system to have been any more successful chasing Cuadrilla for mass compensation than these examples you quote from thousands of miles away.

  2. Phew, not targetted at those who use it or all who sell it. Plus not targetted at proddies or drilling. Not targetting Chinese or Russian Coal. ADNOC not in there, or Norway as as a whole
    Pretty small select bunch old XR are after. And all bosses are excluded as well…heavens.

  3. Quite Right too Lets get after them Fossil fuels are out dated, dangerous and climate unfriendly Time people like Lloyds of London got out of it instead of financing it Well done you X rebels Rob Redford Lincoln

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    • Hmm, Robert. Not too many members of the GMB in such industries?

      Well, I suspect there are quite a few. I’m sure they will be pleased to see how you support them.

  4. Perhaps XR will do the same regarding manufacturers of solar panels?

    No, thought not.

    Or some of the ways cobalt is supplied to the EV industry?

    No, thought not.

    Or, the requirement to ocean mine to acquire sufficient raw materials to supply alternative energy products?

    No, thought not.

    (There is a much longer list, but I am sure others will enjoy making their own addition to what is the real green washing.)

    Meanwhile, I note that plane loads of materials being flown out of UK to India to help them deal with the terrible Covid problems they have, utilizing aviation fuel-much produced at Fawley Refinery-and ventilators, where the chemicals plant next to Fawley Refinery has recently increased output of artificial rubber, from oil, to allow extra production of such equipment. Perhaps some employees could tell Zoe what is REALLY going inside these companies? Except, it would be green washed OUT of the picture.

  5. How can you celebrate criminal damage? Goods being vandalized and needing replacement ?
    Is intimidation “ non violent”?

    XR should look at Southern Water…. more pollution incidents…. wanting to build a desalination plant and pump brine in shallow water next to a Ramsar site and use as much electric as the IOW.

    But no … they are not an oil company…

  6. So, now they are switching to try and intimidate individuals to cough up evidence to support the claims they make on the basis of evidence. Either XR HAS the evidence to back up its claims now, or its claims are worthless until it has actual evidence. You can’t have it both ways – unless of cause your income is derived from the climate change money pot. Any other organisation that started trying to bully and intimidate like this would end up prescribed under the antiterrorist laws. I fear the way XR is developing along this road as it’s ideology becomes increasingly hysterical and removed form the real world. Now they are physically attacking buildings, how long before that is turned on people as they desperately try to find some iota of evidence to back up their claims. It is time for a deeper scrutiny of these XR people, before they cross the red line.

    • Greenpeace have targeted structures for decades without attacking people as have many other protest groups.

      It’s the Establishment which turn violent when losing arguments as can be seen on a regular basis nowadays and throughout history. How many genuine suffragettes, student fees or anti-fracking activists have actually been filmed and convicted of using genuine gratuitous violence against Establishment workers?

      • A certain case at PNR where an activist was found guilty of smashing a truck window, carrying a knife and assaulting a Cuadrilla member of staff springs straight to mind Peter, there are others when you start looking.

  7. Thanks, Peter, for demonstrating with that attempt how real green washing is conducted. I suspect even you recognize that one stretched reality a long way.

    Not sure how student fees entered the fray, but they are all part of the Establishment plot, so I suspect they must be the innocent parties and the Establishment the guilty one!

    Meanwhile, I have two sons both of whom decided to go straight from school into work and are not too keen to pay their taxes to provide others with a few years of partying/activism whilst they are supposed to be studying the life of a South American nose flute, prior to their subsequent career asking whether fries are required.

  8. “Telling tales out of school” is something that does not sit easily within British ‘mores’ – think ‘grassing’. However if the abuse at issue is not something the individual can handle alone or with limited resources, and if the abuse, like so-called ‘green washing’ by polluters is manifestly an ‘abuse’ which undermines the common good, then whistle-blowing surely is to be encouraged and should be followed up by investigation and legal proceedings should there be a prima facie case. This seems to be XR’s intention. What a change from the corporate culture which encourages acceptance of or resignation to a status quo which works in favour of the corporate culture and its greed, diminishing man whilst claiming to act in his/her interests. A desire to preserve the corporation’s advantages is what gives rise to confidentiality clauses. XR’s intentions seem pure, notwithstanding the snide jibes from the usual crowd who remain incapable of or unwilling to spot the wood amidst the trees, manipulating the truth as necessary,arguing ‘facts’ and ‘reality’ , both important of course but susceptible to different discernment and interpretation. One wonders why, when there is so much evidence to the contrary, these people continue to believe that the present system is the only one possible, and that man is innately evil. Why?

  9. You are perfectly entitled to your beliefs, 1720. But, so am I.

    Facts and reality are what I go by to make any judgement, it appears from your own posts you do not. So, until you start to present the facts and reality I will disagree with the “something needs to be done” which can not then be detailed, whilst you continue to protest about something needs to be done, that can be done, but doesn’t fit your opinion.

    Local production, when possible, is doing something. It is easy to do. But, it would exclude you from being able to take part in what you want to take part in, so it is suggested with nonsense that it doesn’t achieve progress towards net zero. Totally false. Same with your objection to HS2. That is something that is a help towards net zero and cleaner air for millions in UK, but you object to that too. My interest is not in you wanting to take part in something, perhaps because you are on the record of not knowing yourself what you were taking part in.

    So, evidence is something you ignore when you want to. That is your choice, but no need to be sensitive about it and accuse others of the same. Man is not innately evil, although there are plenty who are. Neither are they gullible, and if they are being asked not only to make large changes in their lifestyle but to fund the same, most will not feel good and evil are the biggest factors but whether their contributions are going to make a difference. When they see others arguing against what to many of them are logical steps, human nature will mean many think blow that, if my ideas are not worthy, then I will do nothing.

    In other words, 1720, you are not part of the solution, but part of the problem. Meanwhile, for my dinner last night I enjoyed locally produced lamb, locally produced potatoes and my own beans from the freezer. I not only enjoyed that but felt I was contributing in a simple and easy way, and to be honest, for those who want to argue that is not the case, I would just politely ask, why not?

  10. The usual incoherent ‘spiel’ but again, just to satisfy your obsession with what you suppose to be my position on HS2 and your misrepresentation of my attendance at a demonstration, let me clarify for anyone who has the patience to try and understand your post.
    1. HS2. I’m against because I feel that the costs, financial and environmental, outweigh the benefits, and because I feel that the money spent, and to be spent, could have paid for a considerable upgrade in existing services. Cleaner air for millions in the UK could thus be achieved. Secondly I find it incoherent that whilst theoretically working on HS2 to move traffic from the roads, the government intended to implement a large road- building programme – ( admittedly now tied up in Tory knots as somebody reminded them they had a commitment to the climate.)
    2. Not for the first time – (I don’t know why you find this difficult to grasp) – I attended a demo in London believing it to be about X, (I really can’t repeat everything for you, Martin), and discovered that it was indeed about X. I was not surprised by this. Could you please now jettison your references to this: they make your posts even more tedious and your arguments, when understandable, even less credible.

    On the question of facts and reality, you may have discovered that the former are not always readily discernible, and the latter certainly open to interpretation, yours, I’m afraid, not the only version of reality.

    Sorry to hear that I am part of your problem, Martin. It must be galling to discover that you are not the fountainhead of all knowledge – I long ago accepted that I was not, – and I may prove to be completely wrong about the wisdom of HS2 and you correct, but we shall have to wait on history’s verdict on this as on other government projects and actions. I do my best and certainly try not to ignore evidence – did you produce any? The facts concerning my trip to London and my reasons for going are however indisputable, despite your misinterpretations.

    As far as your second paragraph is concerned, who are you quoting? I might have tried to address your point if I could understand it. I should have tried harder! Of course you are entitled to your beliefs, Martin, but they are seldom clear, save that you are anti anti, but no doubt you can justify them.

    • Oh dear!

      Just change my words, and deny your own. If that is what you need to do to “explain” then it is a technique, but not a very subtle one.

      The facts you refer to are what YOU posted. Not me. They were incorrect. I can repeat if you like, but others can read for themselves already. And, a new rail line is needed to increase capacity-fact. Not possible to increase services on the existing line to any extent-fact. So, how much is too much on a project that will be there for 100 years or more?

      The Romulans were very lax in letting the Cloaking Device get into wider circulation, but I would suggest it may not be wise to expect it to come to your assistance all the time. Besides, even the Cloaking Device would not remove previous posts!

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