Ecuador’s case against Chevron even more of a farce

posted at 8:31 am on April 13, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

It’s been a while since we checked in on the several year old effort of the Ecuadorian government, in league with a number of environmentalist activists in the United States, to pick the pockets of Chevron after taking over their energy exploration efforts in that nation. In fact, the last time we reported on it, the Judge in the case had admitted to being bribed to bring the case forward. Well, things haven’t improved much since then for the would-be lottery winners. Their so called “expert testimony” providers have now been forced to disavow their own testimony.

Stratus Consulting has provided sworn declarations outlining the firm’s knowledge of the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ misconduct in the ongoing environmental litigation in Lago Agrio, Ecuador as well as testifying that there is no scientific merit to the plaintiffs’ damages claims against Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and Texaco Petroleum (TexPet).

Chevron recently settled pending fraud and extortion claims against Boulder, Colo.-based Stratus. Stratus had been the lead environmental consultants to the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the trial.

“We are pleased that Stratus came forward to reveal the truth. We call on others with knowledge of the fraud tainting the trial in Ecuador to come forward and do the right thing,” said Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel.

The truly interesting part about this isn’t the apparent collapse of the case in Ecuador, but what seems to be an acknowledgment of the active involvement of American based activists. It’s not difficult to imagine activists as well as corrupt jurists in Ecuador being complicit in an attempt to grab a few billion dollars from an international energy provider, but Stratus is one of the partners back home who had been beating the drums and trying to give a black eye to Chevron.

This appears, at least from the layman’s perspective, to be tantamount to an admission of guilt to the attempted fraud which has been going on for years. But the length of the path to get to this point must be frustrating to those who put so much work into legitimate efforts to expand energy exploration and the benefits it has brought to workers across the globe. With this revelation, perhaps we’re finally coming to the end of this long, sad tale.


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Bob McCarty, a St. Louis blogger, has done yeoman’s work on this subject. He’s written 60 articles since 2009 on this “rainforest shakedown” lawsuit against Chevron. Good stuff.

locomotivebreath1901 on April 13, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Thank you for following this story.

The tale it tells should come as no surprise to us, however. The political left, more so in the US than Europe and elsewhere, has lost all sense of right and wrong. They will not only tolerate liars and cheats but recruit and encourage them. Lawyers used to find ways to fight for their clients cases by going right up to the line between truth and deception without crossing it. The old saw about arguing the facts if the law was against you, or arguing the law if the facts were against you is just too challenging for our law school graduates these days, I guess.

The political right in this country, and even here at Hot Air still do not see this. They seem to want to give the left the benefit of the doubt.

No. If a Democrat and/or other member of the new American socialist complex is moving its lips, then he, she, shim, or it is lying.

doufree on April 13, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Can’t we just bomb these pricks??

Seriously.

BigWyo on April 13, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Well, I certainly hope there is some lawsuits against these folks in response to this revelation. It makes any settlements null and void, I would think. Unfortunately, the law can’t go after them much, since their perjury and such occurred in a foreign courtroom.

GWB on April 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM

BigWyo on April 13, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Well, they are in Boulder, CO, so it would be a twofer……

Oh, wait, you mean Ecuador? Hmmmm. More thought is needed on that one.

GWB on April 13, 2013 at 9:28 AM

“…what seems to be an acknowledgment of the active involvement of American based activists.”

This is no secret to those of us who work the international oil fields and energy development. Scratch a local community protest against development, and you will find an American NGO advocate. They claim to be helping the communities and preserving their rights – and there is some truth to that – but they don’t know where or when to quit: they cannot see when their advocacy is actually detrimental to the community that they claim to be preserving. Their advocacy becomes their master, while they enslave the very people they claim to be liberating.

Liberals have never been strong on logic. They do not promote equality or diversity; they promote identity. They do not promote development; they promote their own authoritarianism. Never forget that the American slaveholders were…Democrats. Their political and philosophical descendants have not changed.

ss396 on April 13, 2013 at 9:40 AM

But the length of the path to get to this point must be frustrating to those who put so much work into legitimate efforts to expand energy exploration and the benefits it has brought to workers across the globe. With this revelation, perhaps we’re finally coming to the end of this long, sad tale.

Over? It’s not over until we march forward into that great day when the evil corporatists are made to pay. The much maligned activists and jurists of Ecuador and America have not yet begun to fight. The story of Chevron’s corruption is much more true than any fact based story can tell. Or something.

Fenris on April 13, 2013 at 9:43 AM

So WHO is going to jail?

……………..crickets…………………..

GarandFan on April 13, 2013 at 9:53 AM

since ecuador is doing an auction of rain forest oil leases and wants china to buy thousands of hectares, they are not trustworthy.

losarkos on April 13, 2013 at 9:55 AM

what seems to be an acknowledgment of the active involvement of American based activists. It’s not difficult to imagine activists as well as corrupt jurists in Ecuador being complicit in an attempt to grab a few billion dollars from an international energy provider, but Stratus is one of the partners back home who had been beating the drums and trying to give a black eye to Chevron.

…I’m sure we all just missed the Sunday talk shows where they had Senator Senile and Lindsey Cracker…discussing the subject!

KOOLAID2 on April 13, 2013 at 10:38 AM

The truly interesting part about this isn’t the apparent collapse of the case in Ecuador, but what seems to be an acknowledgment of the active involvement of American based activists. It’s not difficult to imagine activists as well as corrupt jurists in Ecuador being complicit in an attempt to grab a few billion dollars from an international energy provider, but Stratus is one of the partners back home who had been beating the drums and trying to give a black eye to Chevron.

The end goal for the American activists isn’t some oil-free world, it’s destroying the image of U.S. oil companies to the point they can be nationalized, and their profits seized by the government. Access to the money, not environmentalism, drives the ideology of the leaders of the domestic groups (You can bet these same people were mad it was British Petroleum instead of ChevronTexaco or ExxonMobil that was the lead company in the 2010 Gulf oil spill. It was a missed chance to further demonize the American-based part of the industry).

jon1979 on April 13, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I think we should these lawyers to where they’ll have lots and lots of clients: Federal Penitentiary.

Socratease on April 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Thank you for following this story.

The tale it tells should come as no surprise to us, however. The political left, more so in the US than Europe and elsewhere, has lost all sense of right and wrong. They will not only tolerate liars and cheats but recruit and encourage them. Lawyers used to find ways to fight for their clients cases by going right up to the line between truth and deception without crossing it. The old saw about arguing the facts if the law was against you, or arguing the law if the facts were against you is just too challenging for our law school graduates these days, I guess.

The political right in this country, and even here at Hot Air still do not see this. They seem to want to give the left the benefit of the doubt.

No. If a Democrat and/or other member of the new American socialist complex is moving its lips, then he, she, shim, or it is lying.

doufree on April 13, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Yep, always “the benefit of the doubt”. I get so sick of hearing that from writers at HA and on Fox News, talk radio, etc. The left has done nothing to deserve “the benefit of the doubt”. (BOR is the worst.)

The assumption of innocence granted in court proceedings must not be stretched to limit our expression of our honest opinion outide of the legal process.

slickwillie2001 on April 13, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Don’t you wish we could exploit our fossil energy?

Well Ecuador has a solution!

News item:

Ecuador owed China more than $7 billion — more than a tenth of its GDP — as of last summer.

Ecuador is planning to auction off three million of the country’s 8.1 million hectares of pristine Amazonian rainforest to Chinese oil companies, Jonathan Kaiman of The Guardian reports.

“My understanding is that this is more of a debt issue – it’s because the Ecuadoreans are so dependent on the Chinese to finance their development that they’re willing to compromise in other areas such as social and environmental regulations,” Adam Zuckerman, environmental and human rights campaigner at California-based NGO Amazon Watch, told the Guardian.

See? We can screw ourselves up so much that the Chinese will come in and fight with our green groups!

IlikedAUH2O on April 13, 2013 at 12:50 PM

IlikedAUH2O on April 13, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Source:

http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/ecuador-to-sell-a-third-of-its-amazon-rainforest-to-chinese-oil-companies/

IlikedAUH2O on April 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

In the recent Time, Inc. Special, on sale till 4/15/2013, 100 New Scientific Discoveries, Ecuador is offering to sell the Yasuni National Park for a total of just 3.6 Billion Dollars, payable over 13 years.

It was described as the most biodiverse place on earth.

Where are Soros and Gore and those in Hollywood who care so much?

IlikedAUH2O on April 13, 2013 at 1:03 PM

They claim to be helping the communities and preserving their rights – and there is some truth to that – but they don’t know where or when to quit: they cannot see when their advocacy is actually detrimental to the community that they claim to be preserving. Their advocacy becomes their master, while they enslave the very people they claim to be liberating.

ss396 on April 13, 2013 at 9:40 AM

People who are fanatically pursuing a single interest never know when or where to quit, because they can’t comprehend that conflicting interests might be legitimate or even useful. Or they are using the issue as a means to some other end (usually power or money, but not always). They enlist others in their cause by presenting only one side of the issue favourably, and by totally ignoring any collateral damage even when it is a necessary corollary to their actions.

I have taken to calling these people “expansionists”, as their philosophy seems to be “If a little is good then a lot must be better,” whether they want something prohibited or mandated. They exist on the Left and on the Right; in every party or in none.

Conflict between expansionists is inevitable.

AesopFan on April 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Scott Pelley did a story on 60 minutes years ago about this fiasco. Of course, liber Pelley was firmly on the side of the enviros. No retraction as of yet and likely never will be. Scott’s a simple minded type.

aniptofar on April 13, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Mommy, can I blow up Ecuador now??

Sherman1864 on April 13, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Scott Pelley did a story on 60 minutes years ago about this fiasco. Of course, liber Pelley was firmly on the side of the enviros. No retraction as of yet and likely never will be. Scott’s a simple minded type.

aniptofar on April 13, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Yes he is. And 60 Minutes generally is perfectly comfortable using fraud to smear American companies. Vermin.

Justice will not be done until Donziger is disbarred and jailed.

Jaibones on April 13, 2013 at 11:50 PM

Can’t we just bomb these pricks??

Seriously.

BigWyo on April 13, 2013 at 8:55 AM

When we don’t even threaten to deport overt Communists? Not likely.

MelonCollie on May 12, 2013 at 8:54 AM

It is hard to disband an organization that has been in existence for years and has paid employees (I presume), infrastructure, equipment, property, and a donor base. There is too much invested to just shut it down.

If Mr. Moore had tried to do that, because he honestly thought the organization has served its purpose and was no longer needed, he would have been run out of town on a rail by people he would have considered his “friends” and “colleagues”.

Another thing that stops such an organization from disbanding is that the organization recognizes no limits on its major goals. One way to think of it is, “you can ALWAYS DO MORE for the environment”. It might be ruinous to people economically, but unless that shows up in stark and gory detail, that minor detail gets overlooked.

Russ808 on May 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM

How did my post on Greenpeace end up in the thread on Ecuador??? I went back to the Greenpeace thread, signed in, then suddenly I appeared in the Ecuador thread and had to go back to the Greenpeace thread???

Russ808 on May 13, 2013 at 3:56 PM

It just did it again.

Russ808 on May 13, 2013 at 3:56 PM