Wednesday, December 14, 2011


"We have enough to get money, to win."

Chevron Oil was doing work in the Ecuadorian forests when a team of scientists showed up on the site, looking at the environmental impact on the surrounding area. They alleged that Chevron was destroying the rain forest, sued, and won in an Ecuadorian court. The court issued a fine of $8.6 billion which would double if not paid immediately.

Chevron found something out, though. There was a documentary film called Crude which was made to show how bad oil drilling was, but they caught other commentary on film as well, and didn't use it in the movie. For example, there was this sequence, obtained by court order from the filmmakers:

See, they didn't find the contamination they were looking for, so they "extrapolated" from the work site to areas outside it to pretend there was contamination. The lead attorney Donziger says "it’s Ecuador and if they have 1000 people around the court house they win, the report is just smoke, mirrors, and bulls**t." It looks an awful lot like the whole thing was made up.

Why? Kevin at Whizbang gives the background details:
Of course when you’re endeavoring to pull off a multi-billion dollar legal heist in a banana republic you don’t stop at just inventing damages; you stack the deck on the judicial side as well. What Chevron has been able to show from the outtakes and records obtained is that Maest and her firm drafted substantial portions of the report of the independent expert, Richard Cabrera, who they allege Donziger was instrumental in getting appointed to do the court order study of the alleged environmental damage.
So Chevron is suing under RICO statutes because this looks an awful lot like a conspiracy. Steven Donziger (a friend of Obama's from Harvard, the lead attorney in the case), Dr. Ann Maest, National Academy of Science member and the go-to scientist when you want to stop energy exploration, and Stratus Consulting are all named in the lawsuit by Chevron.

These are the guys who claim Fracking is destroying groundwater, that oil exploration is destroying forests, and that any attempt to find new energy is bad. And apparently if they can't find actual data, well they just make it up.

*UPDATE: Speaking of Fracking; the EPA recently released a study that found contamination of water table distant from a natural gas drilling operation, the first hard evidence that the claims of such contamination were valid. Except its been revealed now that they drilled test wells three times as deep as wells or normally dug, and actually got all the way down into the natural gas that the company was drilling for. Well, whatever it takes to get the evidence you want.

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