Chevron, Ecuador, and the Organized Shake-Down, Part IV

The shareholders resolution intended as leverage against Chevron in the multibillion dollar lawsuit against it for environmental damage in Ecuador was defeated by a large margin today.

Reuters, “Few Chevron investors vote for environment report“:

SAN RAMON, Calif., May 27 (Reuters) – Chevron Corp shareholders rejected a call for an environmental protection report on its global operations, disappointing activists and funds worried by a $27 billion damages claim against the company in Ecuador.

Chevron says similar resolutions in the past received support from 8 percent to 10 percent of the shareholders. If you own Chevron stock, the logic of a no vote is compelling: It makes no sense to call for a study that will be used by trial lawyers trying to pressure the company into a settlement.

UPDATE (3:10 p.m.): An updated story from Reuters, with more detail about the meeting, “Big oil meetings draw activists, some protest votes“:

“I think that the senior management of the company is hiding the truth from the board and from shareholders,” Luis Yanza, founder of the Amazon Defense Coalition representing communities in the polluted rainforest, said at the meeting.

But Chevron Chief Executive David O’Reilly told a previous Ecuadorean speaker that any problems suffered by his people were the responsibility of state-run oil company Petroecuador.

“Yes, there are definitely problems in the area in which you live, but these problems are not the problems of Texaco,” O’Reilly said.

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