Chevron is expected to be slapped with a $27 billion judgment by a court in Ecuador for environmental damage done to the rain forest between 1964 and 1990.
It will be the largest environmental judgment ever. Chevron has no plans to pay it.
Chevron intends to fight enforcement by claiming the trial was unfair, in part because Ecuador’s president has publicly supported the plaintiffs.
Too bad Chevron spent the early part of the case arguing trial should be held in Ecuador. It appears that the oil company thought it would be able to take advantage of Ecuador’s legal system.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Chevron is less worried about the payment than the hit to its “green” reputation. It’s possible that’s true, but the payment represents a tenth of total revenue for Chevron.
Texaco operated in the area from 1964 to 1990, pulled out of the country in 1992 and was bought by Chevron in 2001. Because Chevron has never operated in Ecuador, the plaintiffs cannot capture any assets in their home country and will be forced to collect in the United States.
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