Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Will Chevron and Exxon Ever Be Held Responsible for Decades of Contamination?

Energy

The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled last week that a prior ruling by an Ecuadorean court that fined Chevron $9.5 billion in 2011 should be upheld, according to teleSUR, a Latin American news agency. Texaco, which is currently a part of Chevron, is responsible for what is considered one of the world's largest environmental disasters while it drilled for oil in the Ecuadorian rainforest from 1964 to 1990.

Texaco, which is currently a part of Chevron, is responsible for what is considered one of the world's largest environmental disasters while it drilled for oil in the Ecuadorian rainforest from 1964 to 1990.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

A group of Ecuadorians, who represent 30,000 Ecuadorians, has been fighting to hold the oil company responsible and pay for the damage it caused for decades. The legal battle has been tied up in the courts for years. Ecuador's highest court finally upheld the ruling in January 2014, but Chevron refused to pay.

Last spring, the oil giant took the case to a U.S. court, where a federal judge ruled in favor of Chevron because the judge found the Ecuador's litigation team to be engaging in illicit activity. The ruling from The Hague brought good news for the Amazon community suffering from shockingly high cancer rates and other illnesses, and a contaminated water supply.

But now, Chevron has appealed the decision and deliberations will take place at The Hague on April 20. In a strange desperate attempt, Chevron is arguing that not only should it not have to pay for the decades worth of damage, but that the Ecuadorian people should pay Chevron for the destruction caused, according to Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño, who spoke about the case with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now!

In another story about oil companies refusing to be held accountable for their actions, Gov. Christie has been heavily criticized for his administration's settlement to clean up what Democracy Now! calls "a century of contamination." State Senators in New Jersey voted to condemn a $225 million settlement reportedly pushed through by the office of Republican Gov. Christie, which saved Exxon Mobil billions of dollars, says Gonzalez. The state quietly agreed to accept less than three percent of the $8.9 billion it had originally sought for pollution at two refinery sites.

Earlier this week, State Senators "asked the judge to reject the deal, calling it 'grossly inappropriate, improper and inadequate,'" reports Gonzalez. Adding insult to injury, Gov. Christie reportedly plans to use much of the money from the settlement to "plug holes in New Jersey's budget instead of for environmental restoration," says Gonzalez.

Watch the this Democracy Now! segment for interviews on both of these cases:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Jon Stewart Hammers Gov. Christie Over Staggering Exxon Spill Settlement

Students Occupy Swarthmore College Demanding Fossil Fuel Divestment

Obama Signs Executive Order to Cut Government Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 40 Percent

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Deserted view of NH24 near Akshardham Temple on day nine of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus on April 2, 2020 in New Delhi, India. Raj K Raj / Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India is home to 21 of the world's 30 most polluted cities, but recently air pollution levels have started to drop dramatically as the second-most populated nation endures the second week of a 21-day lockdown amidst coronavirus fears, according to The Weather Channel.

Read More Show Less
A Unicef social mobilizer uses a speaker as she carries out public health awareness to prevent the spread and detect the symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus by UNICEF at Mangateen IDP camp in Juba, South Sudan on April 2. ALEX MCBRIDE / AFP / Getty Images

By Eddie Ndopu

  • South Africa is ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic in Africa.
  • Its townships are typical of high-density neighbourhoods across the continent where self-isolation will be extremely challenging.
  • The failure to eradicate extreme poverty is a threat beyond the countries in question.
Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The outside of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Md. on Nov. 9, 2015. Al Drago / CQ Roll Call

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of two malarial drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19, the respiratory infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, despite only anecdotal evidence that either is proven effective in treating or slowing the progression of the disease in seriously ill patients.

Read More Show Less
Some speculate that the dissemination of the Antarctic beeches or Nothofagus moorei (seen above in Australia) dates to the time when Antarctica, Australia and South America were connected. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

A team of scientists drilled into the ground near the South Pole to discover forest and fossils from the Cretaceous nearly 90 million years ago, which is the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, as the BBC reported.

Read More Show Less
The recovery of elephant seals is one of the "signs of hope" that scientists say show the oceans can recover swiftly if we let them. NOAA / CC BY 2.0

The challenges facing the world's oceans are well known: plastic pollution could crowd out fish by 2050, and the climate crisis could wipe out coral reefs by 2100.

Read More Show Less