Chevron responds to recent op-ed from Ecuador’s ambassador – Midland Reporter-Telegram
By Stephen W. Green, Chevron Corp.
The recent column by Ecuador’s Ambassador Nathalie Cely contains several glaring omissions and falsehoods.
Most importantly, she fails to mention that in March a U.S. federal court ruled that the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron was the product of fraud and racketeering activity, finding it unenforceable in the United States. As presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan stated in the court’s ruling: “The wrongful actions of Donziger and his Ecuadorian legal team would be offensive to the laws of any nation that aspires to the rule of law, including Ecuador — and they knew it.”
The ruling concluded that Steven Donziger, the lead American lawyer behind the Ecuadorian lawsuit against Chevron, violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, committing extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, witness tampering and obstruction of justice in obtaining the Ecuadorian judgment and in trying to cover up his and his associates’ crimes. The decision confirms that the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron was the product of a criminal enterprise, and it prevents Mr. Donziger and his collaborators from profiting from their illegal acts. The court also detailed several instances in which Ecuador’s government leaders met with Donziger and offered to support and advance his fraudulent case.
The Ambassador also fails to note that Chevron has never operated in Ecuador. Texaco Petroleum (TexPet), which became a subsidiary of Chevron in 2001, was a minority partner in an oil-production consortium in Ecuador along with the state-owned oil company, Petroecuador, from 1964 to 1992. After TexPet ceased operations in Ecuador, pursuant to an agreement with the Republic, it fully remediated its share of production sites. The sites that TexPet was to remediate were negotiated and agreed to by the Republic of Ecuador. After the remediation was complete, it was certified by the government and TexPet exited the country with a full release by the Republic of Ecuador from further environmental liability. Petroecuador, however, has continued to operate many of the sites in the former concession over the last 20 years with a dismal environmental record. Any remaining environmental issues are the sole responsibility of Petroecuador.
It is clear that the ambassador’s continued offensive against Chevron is nothing more than an attempt to divert attention from the government’s own responsibilities to its people and the environment.
Chevron believes that the people of the Oriente region of Ecuador, who lack basic infrastructure, deserve a better quality of life. It is unfortunate that Ecuador’s government leaders and foreign diplomats continue to perpetuate this fraud rather than help the people they claim to represent.