Target: Chevron Corporation CEO John S. Watson
Goal: Demand Chevron clean up toxic waste sites in the Ecuadorian Amazon and compensate indigenous peoples for devastating health effects from pollution
Operating under the Texaco brand, Chevron extracted billions of gallons of crude oil between 1964-1990 in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon. These oil wells have raked in considerable revenue for Chevron, but the company’s substandard procedures in waste management have wrought havoc on the delicate rainforest ecosystem. Leaving waste pits unlined and draining toxic sludge into nearby water sources instead of using proper reinjection methods have caused carcinogen-filled waste to seep relentlessly into soil, groundwater, and rivers, the basis of life for an ecosystem home to a majority of the Earth’s species and five indigenous peoples.
Causing birth defects, cancer, and various other severe illnesses, the polluted water has poisoned and killed many local indigenous people, who use river and groundwater for fishing, bathing, cooking, and drinking. Despite Supreme Court rulings mandating the company’s remediation of the damage, Chevron refuses to pay the $18 billion. Backed by their considerable financial and legal resources, the company fights what they insist is a fraudulent claim as the decimation of wildlife and people continues each day.
Standards for proper waste water management were codified by the American Petroleum Institute in 1962. Furthermore, the organization Justice for Ecuador cites material evidence that Texaco actually patented a technique to prevent waste seepage into nearby surface water sources and lands used for agriculture. The devastating effects of toxic waste from oil refinement and drilling were well-known to them, and the company took care to use safe containment methods in the United States.
These safety standards were not followed in Ecuador. Chevron officials even went so low as to tell local peoples that the waters blackened by waste from oil refinement offered health benefits, deliberately putting them in harm’s way.
By signing this petition, you will let Chevron know that prioritizing profits over the loss of an entire ecosystem and peoples’ health and well-being is unacceptable. As per various independent studies and Chevron’s own estimates, up to 18 billion gallons of toxic waste contaminate the area of Chevron’s operations, already causing climbing cancer rates and increasing projections for disease in the future. The longer Chevron stalls, the more the Amazonian wildlife and people are made to suffer. Demand Chevron face up to actions obscenely overdue: serious pollution remediation and the compensation of indigenous peoples for the irrevocable damage done to their person and way of life.
Dear Chevron Corporation CEO John S. Watson,
Chevron used substandard procedures to extract crude oil in the northern Ecuadorian rainforest between 1964-1990 and knowingly violated standards well-known and adhered to in the U.S. For the sake of considerable revenue in billions of gallons of crude oil from the Amazon basin, your company has degraded this delicate rainforest ecosystem. Leaving waste pits unlined and draining toxic sludge into surface water sources rather than using proper reinjection measures have caused carcinogen-filled waste to seep relentlessly into soil, groundwater, and rivers, the basis of life for an ecosystem home to a majority of the Earth’s species and five indigenous peoples. Causing birth defects, cancer, and various other severe illnesses, the polluted water has poisoned and killed many local indigenous people, who use river and groundwater for fishing, bathing, cooking, and drinking.
Continuing to deny the irrevocable damage your company has wrought on this land and its inhabitants is unacceptable. While you deploy your extensive financial and legal resources to fight what you insist is a fraudulent claim, human beings and an entire ecosystem are suffering. I urge you to face up to the Supreme Court ruling mandating your payment of $18 billion and commence actions that are obscenely overdue: serious pollution remediation, and the compensation of indigenous peoples for harm done to their person and way of life.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr