Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You Shouldn’t Trust Your Car to the Men Who Wore the Star

Maybe I need to update my 'google alerts' or remember to go a-searching on the topic more consistently but somehow, I missed a great article from last week, which I will excerpt and link to below. It's a long and thoughtful article on Chevron's toxic legacy in Ecuador by a straight-shooting and often funny dude named Jamie Kitman. Jamie is no internal combustion engine-hating Luddite. In fact, he's a big car buff and award-winning writer on all things automotive. Besides writing for outlets like the Guardian and GQ, he's even the New York Bureau Chief for Automobile Magazine (Automobile Magazine has bureaus?!). Strangely enough, he also happens to be the long-time manager of brilliant NYC art-rock band They Might Be Giants, whose epic breakthrough hit "Don't Let's Start" inspired enthusiastic sing-alongs by me and my high-school friends as we drove around in my first car, a hand me-down Pontiac station wagon. But that's another story. Anyway, Jamie posted his article on the blog of CarTalk, as in the beloved NPR call-in radio program, with Click & Clack, the Tappet Brothers. So, without further ado:

If you’re the sort of person who stopped filling up at BP stations after the Gulf Horizon disaster, here’s hoping you’re not shopping for gasoline at Chevron, owner of Texaco, instead. The companies’ behavior in Ecuador over the last 37 years, and in the nearly 20-year lawsuit brought against Texaco (purchased by Chevron in 2001) by victims of its epic despoiling of the area, is right up there with the worst in the oil industry’s oversubscribed Hall of Shame. In fact, it may even make BP look good.

Now you may have missed the latest wrinkles in the Chevron-Texaco case — Donald Trump’s run for the presidency was brewing as they came down — so, perhaps, like the American media, you were distracted. Or maybe you are resigned to expecting appalling behavior from oil companies. But the record reveals that Texaco and Chevron have outdone themselves even by the low standards of their industry.

Read the rest of this informative article here, and share it via email, facebook, twitter, and what have you. Enjoy.

– Han

Han Shan is the Coordinator of Amazon Watch's Clean Up Ecuador Campaign

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