Eye on the Amazon: The Official Blog of Amazon Watch

Judge: Chevron Can Access Its Critics' Private User Information

July 8, 2013 | Marissa Vahlsing

Judge: Chevron Can Access Its Critics' Private User Information

It's Time to Fire Chevron's CEO!

Tell the Chevron board of directors to fire CEO John Watson. Since he took over, the company's bad behavior has only gotten worse.

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After more than eight months of silence, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan recently issued a long-awaited decision on the enforceability of a subpoena served by Chevron on Microsoft in connection with Chevron's lawsuit claiming that it has been the victim of a conspiracy in the $18.2 billion judgment against it for massive environmental contamination in Ecuador. But Kaplan's decision begs more questions than it answers.

The sweeping subpoena was one of three issued to Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, demanding IP usage records and identity information for the holders of more than 100 email accounts, including environmental activists, journalists and attorneys. Chevron's subpoena sought personal information about every account holder and the IP addresses associated with every login to each account over a nine-year period.

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Chevron Cozies Up with Judge, Censors Blog

July 8, 2013

Chevron Cozies Up with Judge, Censors Blog

It's Time to Fire Chevron's CEO!

Tell the Chevron board of directors to fire CEO John Watson. Since he took over, the company's bad behavior has only gotten worse.

TAKE ACTION

Chevron and its good friend Justice Lewis A. Kaplan are at it again. Last week the Chevron Pit posted a blog post detailing the constant irregularities and bias towards Chevron in Judge Kaplan's court, prejudice that has invited scrutiny from New York's Second Circuit Court of Appeals. However, in a perfect example of Chevron's hypocrisy and a legal team on steroids, the blog post has been CENSORED due to pressure from the sharks at Gibson Dunn. Gibson Dunn is just one of the 60 law firms – and 2,000 legal professionals – that Chevron has bankrolled to rob justice from 30,000 Ecuadorians who are still suffering from Chevron's legacy of contamination.

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Consultation or Conflict? The Fight for the Future of Natural Resource Investments in Peru

July 3, 2013 | Andrew Miller

Achuar protesting Petroperu's plans to drill on their territory

Like many counties in Latin America, Peru is betting heavily on natural resource extraction as a key engine of economic growth. Extractive sectors, however, have in recent years become the largest source of social conflicts across the Peruvian countryside. From the Amazon to the Andes, communities are protesting the devastation left by mining and oil projects. Successive governments – both right wing and "progressive" – have readily resorted to repressive measures.

Expanding mining operations in the Peruvian Andes have garnered international attention in the last year, in part because of large-scale protests and violent crackdowns. The epicenter has been the Conga Mine project, run by Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corporation and their Peruvian subsidiary Yanacocha. Plans to destroy four highlands lakes, held sacred by local communities, have sparked over 18 months of protests. On June 17th, a reported four thousand community members mobilized to surround and protect the El Perol Lake, one of the four at risk.

Several statistics, gathered by the government's own human rights ombudsman's office (Defensoría del Pueblo) should be cause for sober reflection by any prospective investor in the country's extractive sector: As of May 2013, there are some 225 officially registered social conflicts around the country. More than half (127) are a result of problematic mining operations (108) or oil projects (19). Over the course of President Humala's term (since mid-2011), the ombudsman's office has documented a total of 28 deaths and 795 injuries as a result of social conflicts. According to Amnesty International, at least seven civilians were killed during mining protests over 2012 in Espinar (Cuzco), Celendín (Cajamarca) and Huaraz (Áncash).

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Investors Balking on Ecuador's Amazonian Oil Auction

July 2, 2013 | Adam Zuckerman

Photo credit:Kevin Koenig

Last month Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa issued an apology for the oil spill that wreaked havoc on communities and ecosystems throughout the Amazon Basin. The 420,000-gallon spill flowed downstream to Peru and has impacted at least 32 indigenous communities in the Amazonian province of Loreto, prompting the Peruvian government to threaten legal action. Brazil, worried that the spill will reach its border, has alerted its navy, and Ecuador has hired U.S. company Oil Spill Response to test for contamination in Brazil and Colombia. The spill serves as a stark reminder that Peru is subject to downstream contamination from any spill in Ecuador, as the headwaters of the Amazon begin in Ecuador and flow through Peru, and in some cases, into Brazil and Colombia.

What the media narrative has largely missed is that there is an oil spill nearly every week in Ecuador. Just between 2000 and 2010 there were 539 oil spills. The pipeline that ruptured and caused the most recent spill has been a frequent source of spills over its 40-plus year history. Currently operated by state-run oil company Petroamazonas, it was built by Texaco and completed in 1972. Like all of Texaco's Ecuador operations (Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001), it was done on the cheap. Choosing to save money, Texaco chose a pipeline right of way that was shorter and thus cheaper, but passed through some of Ecuador's most geologically complicated and seismically active areas. The pipeline spilled 16.8 million gallons alone during Chevron's 28-year tenure.

So why is this spill gathering international media attention while hundreds of others go unreported?

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Karmic Justice: Chevron CEO Deposed

June 28, 2013

Protesting at Chevron's AGM

It's Time to Fire Chevron's CEO!

Tell the Chevron board of directors to fire CEO John Watson. Since he took over, the company's bad behavior has only gotten worse.

TAKE ACTION

Twelve years ago Amazon Watch founder and Executive Director Atossa Soltani urged Chevron's board, shareholders, and management to vote down a proposal to acquire Texaco, presenting them with 800 pages of evidence that Texaco was an enormous liability for what it did in Ecuador. Affected communities in Ecuador ran ads urging Chevron not to purchase Texaco. Lawyers and investment bankers anxious to close the merger deal for their exorbitant fees dismissed Texaco's operations in Ecuador as a minor nuisance and acquired the company.

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