Ecuadoreans Sue U.S. Oil Giant ChevronTexaco
The U.S. petroleum giant ChevronTexaco recently went on trial in
Ecuador in a lawsuit filed on behalf of 30,000 poor Ecuadoreans
who say Texaco's 20 years of drilling poisoned their homeland.
The case may set the important precedent that foreign courts can
hold a multinational corporation financially responsible for
environmental damage in that nation. The lawsuit alleges that
Texaco cut costs and took advantage of weak Ecuadorean
environmental standards by pouring wastewater into some 350 open
pits instead of reinjecting it deep underground. The company's
waste water flowed from these unlined dirt pits into rivers and
streams that feed into the Amazon River. Local peoples are
drinking contaminated water, causing cancer and other sickness.
A favorable ruling would send an important and long overdue
message to the oil industry: adhere to the best technical
practices when they drill in the developing world as they would
in rich nations. Oil kills rainforests, decimates local
cultures, changes climate, sparks wars and is killing the Planet.