Chevron is exhibiting some awfully thin skin lately over its Ecuador environmental disaster.
A clear pattern is emerging where the company, its lawyers, and its public relations firms try to intimidate critics of its Ecuador problem into silence. Award-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger, who recent made a movie documenting the company's abuses in Ecuador, is the latest victim. That has gotten Chevron on the bad side of prominent journalists and filmmakers such as Bill Moyers, Trudie Styler and Michael Moore.
Chevron has admitted to dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into Ecuador's Amazon to cut costs, decimating indigenous groups and creating an outbreak of cancer that affects thousands of people. For years, the company has engaged in abusive litigation to evade accountability for a clean-up.
Unlike the BP disaster in the Gulf, Chevron (via its predecessor company Texaco) discharged this waste on purpose. And unlike BP, Chevron's executives have buried their heads in the sand and refused to accept responsibility for the clean-up.
The increased pressure on Chevron – 60 Minutes did a highly unflattering segment on the company recently – seems be taking a toll.
Take look at Chevron's attacks on Free Speech just in the past year:
Chevron's "scorched earth" approach to its critics is pathetic, to say the least. But that's what happens when some of Big Oil's corporate leaders don't want to be reminded that they are responsible for the discharge of more than 18 billion gallons of toxic waste into the Amazon Rainforest.
But the facts are the facts. While we can understand Chevron's desire to forget about the mess it made in Ecuador, and to wish that its critics would go away, it's time for the company to stop trying to silence the opposition.
For more information, visit www.chevrontoxico.com.