Chevron and Ecuador: What a Remediated Site Looks Like

By October 13, 2009General

As a follow-up to Saturday’s post about photos used to illustrate stories about litigation against Chevron, a $27 billion lawsuit that claims the company is responsible for oil pollution in Ecuador, we offer a photo of a drilling site remediated by Texaco (which Chevron bought in 2001).

We took this photo on a trip to Ecuador in June made on Chevron’s dime.

Catching up on developments, we note that Chevron has filed for international arbitration against Ecuador. From the September 23 news release, “Chevron Files International Arbitration Against the Government of Ecuador Over Violations of the United States-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty”:

SAN RAMON, Calif., Sept. 23, 2009-Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) has filed an international arbitration claim against the government of Ecuador citing violations of the country’s obligations under the United States-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty, investment agreements, and international law. The complaint stems from the government of Ecuador’s exploitation of the ongoing lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuador, as well as the government’s failure to uphold its duties under decade-old contracts. The arbitration proceeding has been commenced before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague under the Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

Chevron’s claims relate to the lawsuit currently pending against the company in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, where Chevron’s subsidiary, Texaco Petroleum Company participated until 1992 as a minority member of a consortium that explored for and produced oil under contracts with Ecuador and Ecuador’s government-owned oil company, Petroecuador. Through the filing, Chevron seeks to enforce prior settlement and release agreements that the government of Ecuador entered into with Texaco Petroleum when the consortium was terminated, and to hold Ecuador accountable for its obligations under Ecuadorian law and existing international treaties.

News coverage …

We note the NAM and other major business groups sent a letter to the leaders of the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee last week opposing an extension of Andean Trade Preferences Act benefits to Ecuador (and Bolivia) because of the deterioration of the rule of law.

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