Humor Magazine

Big Oil Cleans up Green Slime

By Davidduff

This story provided me with some sardonic humor and good cheer although I should stress that the final result is not yet in.  The New York Post reports that, alone amongst 'Big Oil' companies, Chevron has decided to kick back against what they see as the bullying and harassment of the Greenies.  The leader of the Green pack is a certain Steven Donziger - I provide a link to Wiki but with the usual caution attached!  He is a Harvard-trained lawyer - he used to play basket-ball with Obama - who became a Public Defender in New York before moving on to represent natives in Ecuador whose lives and well-being had been harmed by Chevron's activities in the country.  He won the immense sum of $19 billion in an Ecuadorian court.  Now, however:

Chevron is suing lawyer Steven Donziger and a number of activist environmental groups in a civil-racketeering suit, claiming that his landmark $19 billion award against the oil company in an Ecuadorean court was the product of a criminal conspiracy.

'Howdya like them apples, baby?'  Green and sour, I assume!  The Greenies appear to have made a big mistake by producing a 'documentary' film called Crude - the irony is too, too delicious! - which was premiered at the annual Sundance Film Festival, and went on to garner huge coverage in the American media who swallowed the whole 'apple' pips and all!  But Chevron have now succeeded in obtaining 500 hours of film which never appeared in the final cut:

They show Donziger full of contempt for the country he says he cares about, openly boasting about how corrupt Ecuador’s judicial system is and planning to intimidate the judge because “the only language . . . this judge is going to understand is one of pressure, intimidation and humiliation.”

The filmmaker even recorded the lawyers lamenting that no pollution had spread from the original drilling sites and “right now all the reports are saying . . . nothing has spread anywhere at all” and how this lack of pollution was a serious problem.

But the footage also shows Don­ziger figuring he can brazen it out: “If we take our existing evidence on groundwater contamination, extrapolate based on nothing other than our . . . theory . . . then we can do it. And we can get money for it.”

It gets 'worserer and worserer':

Chevron will produce evidence that Don­ziger forged the signature of American experts on reports claiming widespread pollution — when these same experts had actually filed reports finding no such thing.

And that Donziger and his associates paid the Ecuadorean court’s “independent” expert more than a quarter of a million dollars so they could ghost-write his findings — the report that recommended the massive damages.

Chevron even promises to show that Donziger offered a judge on the case a $500,000 bribe to swing the judgment.

Chevron is arguing that Don­ziger and his environmental allies are no better than the mafia extorting money out of the company based on threats and fraud.

The stakes are huge: If Chevron loses, its bottom line and reputation will be seriously damaged. If Donziger loses, he misses out on a possible $3 billion payday and could be disbarred.

I wonder if Hollywood will make a film of this story?  And who will play Donzinger?  Tom Hanks, do you think?  What a pity James Gandolfini isn't around, he would have been perfect for the part!


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