Via Huffington Post:
Karen Hinton: From Ecuador to Richmond to Nigeria, Chevron Flouts Safety, Lacks Respect for Communities Where It Operates
Want to understand the back story for Chevron’s latest environmental disaster in Richmond, California?
Read this article about how Chevron essentially forced 154 of its Nigerian workers to jump from a smoking oil rig minutes before it exploded into the ocean after the company refused to evacuate them. Then, watch this video about Chevron’s devastating human rights violations and fraudulent cover-up in Ecuador.
It has been clear for some time that a deep cultural rot has taken hold in Chevron’s management team. The company is riddled by an outdated corporate governance structure designed to maintain a weak-kneed board of directors incapable of policing managers who don’t care to address fundamental operational and safety problems. (See this press release and an article about Chevron’s being named a company with some of the worst business practices in the U.S.)
For Chevron, it’s about pure greed and lies. Its marketing mantra — we respect the communities where we operate — is an advertising industry joke.
Chevron CEO John Watson and General Counsel R. Hewitt Pate — a disciple of Karl Rove — both of whom are hopelessly conflicted on these issues are being paid huge amounts of money to make sure Chevron continues to pad its pockets at the expense of the communities where it operates.
On recent conference calls with analysts who provide information to shareholders, Watson repeatedly misrepresented and distorted the facts about the $19 billion damage award in Ecuador. He has called the case a fraud and the Ecuadorians “criminals” — basically blaming the victims, the usual tactic of Chevron’s top brass.
The disaster at Chevron’s refinery in Richmond — where over 1,000 people were sent to the hospital because of toxic fumes — is another case in point. As Richmond community leader Andres Soto said on Democracy Now!, Chevron is engaging is more “mendacity” and “misrepresentation of the truth”: