Ecuador Chevron Shakedown Falling Apart?
posted at 4:30 pm on May 27, 2011 by Jazz Shaw
Over the winter we brought you up to date on the efforts of agents inside the nation of Ecuador, in collaboration with environmental groups and law firms here in the United States, to shake down Chevron. They have been seeking payments to to the tune of tens of billions of dollars for “environmental damage” allegedly caused by Texaco – later absorbed by Chevron – in spite of the fact that the government of Ecuador is the only entity having done any drilling there in decades.
The case has been moving along at a snail’s pace, but Chevron has been gaining ground. We’ll cover a few of the details below, but first there is a video to catch you up on what’s been happening.
American lawyers have been helping the “environmentalist” groups and the government of Ecuador, currently attempting to pick Chevron’s perceived deep pockets. This continues despite the fact that, “Five US federal courts have found evidence that the Ecuador trial has been compromised by plaintiff’s lawyer’s fraud.”
Steven Donziger, attorney for the plaintiffs, was caught on tape and in court obtained documents providing the following memorable quotes,
“Because at the end of the day, this is all for the courts. This is a bunch of smoke, mirrors and (expletive.) It really is.”
“The only language that I believe this judge [in Ecuador] will understand is one of pressure, intimidation and humiliation.”
“This is Ecuador, OK? You can say whatever you want, and at the end of the day, there’s a thousand people around the courthouse and you’re going to get what you want.”
“… the problem, my friend, is that the effects are potentially devastating in Ecuador. (Apart from destroying the proceedings, all of us, your attorneys, might go to jail.)”
“The business of getting press coverage is part of a legal strategy. The business of plaintiff’s law is to make (expletive) money.”
Lovely, eh? After this video was released, Hot Air contacted Chevron for a comment. Justin Higgs, Media Advisor to Chevron, responded with the following:
Chevron will continue to vigorously defend itself, and the interests of the company’s shareholders against the fraudulent lawsuit being pursued by American trial lawyers in Ecuador. Through discovery proceedings in the United States, Chevron has obtained thousands of documents that memorialize the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ efforts to pressure judges to rule in their favor, corrupt expert reports, and manufacture evidence. Chevron recognizes that the people of Ecuador face real challenges, but using Ecuador’s courts to advance a fraud is simply wrong.
If I can take a brief moment to rant here, regular readers already know that we have spent a great deal of time focusing on the issues of jobs and the economy. And I, for one, am willing to grant that there are a number of areas where Washington is unable to substantially affect these challenges in the short term. But when it comes to developing domestic energy resources, Washington actually could do something to restore lost jobs and increase domestic productivity. President Obama, so frequently fond of enacting policy through the executive branch without the benefit of the legislative branch, could do it with the stroke of a pen. (Or, if he’s out of the country, an autopen, apparently. ) They have failed to do so.
In this case, I have to ask… where are the “friends of the court” filings from the Justice Department? Where is the support for one of our largest employers and the people who can reduce our dependence on foreign suppliers – as both parties claim to wish to do – when rip-off artists look to pilfer tens of billions of dollars from an American company in a clearly fraudulent attempt to make a quick buck at the expense of a company with deep pockets?
Silence from Washington. Thanks for nothing, guys.