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Transcript of CHEVRON
The Most Unethical Company of the Last 100 Years
Los Angeles, California
Star Oil, the earliest predecessor to Chevron was founded when oil was discovered north of Los Angeles.
Kern County, California
Through multiple acquisitions Star Oil was absorbed into the Standard Oil company. The discovery and development of the Kern oil field throughout the 1920's increased Standard Oil's market dominance.
By 1911, despite being separated from Standard Oil by the Sherman Anti-trust act, the now Standard Oil Co. (California), soon to become SOCAL, expanded it’s refining capabilities by building an additional pipelines from the Kern oil fields to their flagship refinery in Richmond while also building a new refinery in El Segundo.
Despite their prolific growth, capability for innovation, and positive employee culture, the demand to find new sources of energy began to take it’s toll on SOCAL (Chevron).
Soon all petroleum producing companies were battling throughout the world to discover and exploit the oil wealth of nations. SOCAL (Chevron), The Texas Fuel Company (Texaco), Gulf Oil, Shell Oil, Motoroyal Oil, British Petroleum and other competitors were willing to do whatever it took to continue their growth.
According to analyst Antonia Juhasz, The Texas Fuel Company (Texaco) and SOCAL (Chevron) were known for their ruthless dealings and cutthroat business practices. Oil industry insiders began referring to the two companies as the “terrible twins” as early as 1936.
The culture of the oil industry created organizations willing to do whatever it took to make a profit.
On August 6, 2012, the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, California burst into flames. The fire was extinguished later that evening. As a result of the fire, a thick black toxic smoke engulfed the neighborhoods of Richmond. Residents were asked to stay in their homes. Public transportation and toll bridges were shut down.
Approximately 15,000 residents (15% of the population) sought medical assistance as a result of the fire.
Chevron has exhibited a willful disregard for the health of those in the communities in which they operate.
They have employed violence as a means of maintaining production.
Their practices demonstrate decades of failed promises to address health and community concerns and they consistently comply with the minimum requirements of the law.
Chevron has directed and is currently directing multiple unsafe and unethical hazardous waste disposal programs. Add to this their extensive use of flaring, which releases massive amounts of CO2, and the data points to a complete disregard for the responsible and ethical production of oil. Furthermore, their mismanagement of aging equipment which regularly results in spills, leaks and fires shows that they only care about profit.
Chevron has accrued US $30 million in fines for violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Although lobbying is not illegal, they invest tens of millions of dollars each year in their efforts to influence legislation.
When lobbying fails, Chevron has shown that they are willing to do anything necessary to protect their interests. Willful neglect of US government sanctions in Iran, and an unwillingness to implement promised environmental programs until fines are levied are just the tip of the iceberg.
Chevron's willingness to bribe and discredit judges shows the depth to which they are willing go to protect their interests. By demonstrating an unwillingness to shoulder the liabilities of legal judgements, Chevron has proven time after time that they care very little for those affected by their business practices.
Texaco and Gulf Oil, precursors to Chevron, begin drilling operations.
The unethical disposal of hazardous waste led to a massive decrease in the health of the community. Citizens living in the oil producing region experience cancer rates thirty times the national average. Miscarriage rates are four times the national average. The destruction of arable land and pollution of the waterways has severely harmed the agrarian economy.
Juana Apolo walks out of a cemetary in Andina where her father, brother and sister are buried, all of whom died of cancer - © 2004 Lou Dematteis
An unlined waste pit filled with crude oil left by Texaco drilling operations years earlier lies in a forest clearing near the town of Sacha - © 2004 Lou Dematteis
In 1993, legal proceedings began in an effort to hold Texaco accountable. Fighting the court battles using all means at their disposal.
In 2001, Chevron merged with Texaco taking on all liabilities and embarking on a $40m cleanup effort. However, the cleanup effort was solely cosmetic. Chevron simply covered over the open waste pits with topsoil.
Seeing that their cleanup efforts did not have the intended effect, Chevron attempted to settle the lawsuit with government officials even though they were forbidden to do so by Ecuadorian law. When that failed they began to actively lobby the US government to cut trade benefits to Ecuador in order to pressure officials to persuade the citizens to settle.
Crude oil spills occur regularly in Angola. They are most often reported by the local fishermen and beach goers who notice the oil in the water and on shore, not Chevron. Although large scale oil spills are not the norm, a network of poorly maintained pipes are commonly to blame.
On multiple occasions Chevron has said they would do a better job of maintaining their pipes. The regular occurrence of oil spills prove otherwise.
Impact on Fishing
2001, The Sea of Cabinda.
In a region rich in ecological diversity where the economy depends upon the fishing industry, the first of many oil spills occurred in the region. This spill made it impossible for fishermen to fish for many weeks. No compensation was granted and the government has neither acknowledged the disaster nor pursued action against Chevron. No cleanup effort was mounted.
Have the issues been fixed?
Most Recent spill:
Discovery of Oil
Oil was discovered in Nigeria around the same time they gained independence from the British. Since then, the oil companies have supported the countries military dictatorships, and in turn, the military has supported the oil companies. Now oil accounts for 95 percent of the country's export earnings and 80 percent of its total revenue. The government could not support itself without oil, but that does not mean the country is better for it.
Wide Spread Protests
In May of 1998, more than 100 protesters occupied a Chevron oil rig, protesting wages and environmental apathy. They stayed for three days and as they were preparing to leave on the third day, military police hired by Chevron and flying on chevron leased helicopters, opened fire on the peaceful protesters. Two were killed and many more were wounded.
Villagers from Opia and Ikenyan, villages near oil rigs, participated in protests against Chevron, seeking compensation for damage to local fisheries and drinking water. Chevron responded by hiring Nigerian Soldiers to attack the villages from the air and from the ground on Chevron transportation. Many innocent people were murdered and the villages were burned to the ground by the ruthless military. Chevron claims there was no altercation that day and offers no explanation for the presence of their helicopters and boats.
Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister made claims concerning Chevron's relationship with Iran in a diplomatic cable leaked to Wikileaks.
The Angola Shoreline
Spills and Fire
In January 2012, gas pressure caused an explosion on the KS Endeavor rig owned by Chevron. Part of the rig collapsed into the ocean killing two people and spilling an untold amount of oil. The oil caught fire and burned for months just 10km off the Nigerian coast. The environmental damage was catastrophic. The locals water supply turned toxic and the fish that were their livelihood and best source of nutrients, were poisoned.
*A receipt shows Chevron paying Nigerian soldiers for "Services carried out by Capt. [redacted] and 22 Soldiers whom left from Escravos/Madangho (Chevron Facility) to [illegible] attacks from Opia village" on January 4, 1999.
The Government is one of the most corrupt in the world. Oil provides most of the country's wealth, which means they do not have to rely on taxpayers for funding. In other words, they do not have to answer to the people. This creates a hotbed for corruption as there is no motivation to take care of the people or improve the national infrastructure. One side effect of this is that environmental laws are rarely enforced and oil companies are given free reign to regulate themselves.
company of the last 100 years is
Ethical Atrocities All Around the Globe
Environmentalist have been trying to get Chevron to take responsibility for years
The Iraqi Prime Minister claimed Chevron negotiated with Tehran about developing an Iraq-Iran cross-border oilfield in spite of tight US sanctions.
The sanctions were in place to discourage Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
Chevron never fully denied the accusation, rather they released a statement saying they would never violate U.S. law.
In 2002 another platform spill occurred polluting beaches and putting a stop to commercial fishing. Despite the fact that the Angolan government has shown little interest in discussing environmental issues related to the oil industry because of its economic dependence on oil, for the first time in Angola, Chevron was fined US $2 million for environmental damages.
Poorly maintained tubing was found to be the cause.
In a last ditch effort Chevron hired operatives to entrap presiding judges in a bribery scheme. The judges did not take the bribe. Months later a recording of the event came to light further implicating Chevron. Chevron ultimately lost the lawsuit and was ordered to pay US $19 billion in restitution.
Years earlier, in anticipation of the judgement, Chevron divested itself of all assets in Ecuador. Groups sympathetic to the people of Ecuador have attempted to freeze Chevron assets in their countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada) until Chevron complies with the judgement.
Thanks For Watching!
Evidence as to why Chevron is the most unethical company of the last 100 years
Focused on profit Texaco employed several cost-cutting production strategies which created massive environmental problems. More than 18 billion gallons of toxic water containing crude oil was knowingly dumped into streams and rivers.
Chevron is actively taking advantage of the loose regulatory structure in Angola and causing significant environmental damage that is affecting the health and well being of citizens across the country.
They have been drilling in Angola for 81 years and they currently operate the offshore oil drilling operations in the country. During this time they have exhibited a willingness to disregard responsible oil production practices that they follow elsewhere in the world.
Despite the massive spill in 2001, according to fishermen, the shortage of fish in the area began in 1980. Chevron is even perhaps responsible for the disappearance of marine species and the destruction of the mangroves in the Chilonga River. Independent fishing associations claim that Chevron’s irresponsible practices towards the environment are “incalculable” and require an urgent court ruling to hold the multinational accountable.
The impact of oil activity in the Sea of Cabinda is so disastrous that most of the sand on the shore is black in color.
Despite the fine, a history of spills over the last decade indicate that the government action did not have the intended effect.
Chevron is simply unwilling to ethically produce their product, despite the fact that they do so elsewhere in the world. Employees of Chevron consistently do the minimum required by law in order to maximize profits.
Fast forward to here for relevant details.
BBC News, Angola fines Chevron for pollution - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/2077836.stm
The True Cost of Chevron, 2011 report -
Wikipedia, Chevron Corporation - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevron_Corporation
The True Cost of Chevron - 2011 Report, Political Action Report
The Guardian, WikiLeaks cables: Chevron discussed oil project with Tehran, claims Iraqi PM - http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/15/wikileaks-chevron-iran-iraq-oilfield-claim/print
BBC News, Chevron fined for Amazon pollution by Ecuador court - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12460333
BBC News, Texaco faces $1bn lawsuit - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3212698.stm
MOST UNETHICAL COMPANY
OF THE LAST 100 YEARS.
For all of these reasons, we believe Chevron is the