Recently four US senators sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk (view the letter HERE) urging him to take NO action after Chevron’s lobbying blitz calling for the US government to intervene in the $27 billion lawsuit they are facing in Ecuador. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) voiced their deep concern with Chevron pushing the US Government to cut trade benefits for Ecuador. Woah, now lets back up just a second. Is Chevron actually lobbying for the US to cancel the trade preferences to Ecuador because they don’t like the possible verdict from Ecuador’s independent judiciary? You bet Chevron is. Chevron is willing to punish an entire country’s people and economy in a weak attempt to dodge accountability. Desperate times, huh? Actually, it’s pretty simple. Chevron wanted the trial moved to Ecuador and they got it. Now as a mountain of evidence solidifies their guilt in the lawsuit they are scrambling for any life-line they can find. Fortunately, representatives like these four senators realize that the Ecuadorian communities “deserve their day in court”, and no amount of bullying from Chevron will stop that.
Nick Magel is Communications Manager at Amazon Watch. Prior to joining Amazon Watch, Nick was Director of the Freedom From Oil campaign at Global Exchange. Nick’s critiques of the US oil addiction have run in The New York Times, USA Today, and San Francisco Chronicle. Previously, Nick had worked on campaigns to stop new liquefied natural gas infrastructure on the west coast and developed climate based curricula for classrooms across the country. He received his MA in education from Lesley University.