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Ecuador

Ecuador orders Chevron to apologize, pay $8.6 billion to clean up pollution

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: Ecuador, Chevron, health news


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(NaturalNews) In what is believed to be the "largest-ever judgment in an environmental case," according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, an Ecuadorian judge has ruled that Chevron Corp. must pay $8.6 billion to clean up oil pollution that occurred in the nation's rainforests between 1965 and 1992. Chevron has also been ordered to publicly apologize for the incident by March 1, or else face a doubling of the judgment.

When Chevron acquired Texaco Inc. in 2001, it also acquired Texaco's history of environmental abuse in Ecuador. Such damage includes billions of gallons of waste water and oil that Texaco allegedly dumped into open pits and wildlife habitats in the Amazon rainforests. Reports say the damage was so extreme that the event has been dubbed "the Amazon's Chernobyl." The pollution is also estimated to have killed at least 1,400 people.

Residents of these Ecuadorian rainforests, and those working on their behalf, have been pursuing Chevron for legal remedy for decades, but much success. A NaturalNews story published last year explained that, upon first being sued by these indigenous peoples in the affected regions, Chevron hired more than 12 public relations firms to debunk any and all claims made against the company in the matter (https://www.naturalnews.com/028108_Chevron_Ec...).

But now, after what seemed like an endless battle, plaintiffs have finally achieved a considerable victory that will likely go down in history as a major blow not only to Chevron, but also to all other multinational corporations that engage in environmentally-irresponsible business practices.

Chevron, however, continues to deny any responsibility in the matter, and says it will neither apologize nor pay the judgment. Chevron spokesman Kent Robertson told reporters that the ruling is "illegitimate and unenforceable," and that it is a "product of fraud." Reports also say that Chevron has already filed several appeals to the judgment in six U.S. courts, and plans to take every legal remedy possible to challenge the judgment.

Plaintiffs, however, insist that Chevron is responsible for the more than $27 billion in damage caused to the Amazon rainforest, an amount for which the $8.6 billion pales in comparison.

Sources for this story include:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527...

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nat...

http://www.grist.org/article/2011-02-17-chev...

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