Reports, Resistance, and Resolutions Make Chevron Shareholders Question Oil Giant’s Vitality
Community Members, Richmond Mayor, Indigenous Leaders, Veterans, Shareholders, among groups that surround Chevron inside and out.
San Ramon CA – Chevron shareholders were given a full account of the true costs of Chevron’s global operations by a delegation of representatives of Chevron affected communities from the across the nation and around the world. Outside supporters filled the entryway, closing Chevron’s front gate with a vibrant rally. Representatives from Nigeria, Ecuador, Richmond and the Philippines, were joined inside by those representing communities from Burma, Kazakhstan, Iraq and Alberta to present to shareholders an alternative annual report, The True Cost of Chevron.
“In response to our presence, Chevron offered no answers to our substantive concerns, but rather continued its misinformation campaign to shareholders, employees, and the public by trying to keep the true cost of its human rights and environmental liabilities off its balance sheet,” said Antonia Juhasz, lead author editor of the report.
Chevron’s CEO David O’Reilly, who said that he had heard of the report, sent a clear message to Chevron affected communities around the world, telling them that their grievances with the oil giant “are an insult to Chevron employees, and should be thrown in the trash.”
“When presented with the factual evidence of people suffering in Kazakhstan as a result of a Chevron’s operations, O’Reilly ignored the issues and hid instead behind hurt personal feelings,” stated Michelle Kinman of Crude Accountability.
“Chevron chose to turn a deaf ear to the communities who bear the crippling consequences of its operations,” said Paul Donowitz of EarthRights International. “Chevron’s complicity in human rights abuses in Burma, the billions in project revenues flowing to the brutal Burmese military junta who use these profits to oppress their own people are more evidence that this is a company that cares for only one thing – its bottom line.”
“Chevron’s management is burying its head in the sand on the company’s environmental liability in Ecuador while Chevron’s board is shirking its fiduciary duty to shareholders,” said Atossa Soltani of Amazon Watch. “The board is asleep at the wheel and allowing Chevron management to mishandle this case.”
“Chevron’s response is emblematic of its approach to local communities—a systemic disregard and mockery of the communities in which it operates,” said Mayor Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, California.
“David O’Reilly showed nothing but disrespect to all those who traveled from around the world to address the shareholder meeting,” said Tunde Okorodudu, human rights activist from the Niger Delta. “Chevron has done nothing but enable the culture of violence that now permeates my region.”
Christine Cordero of Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity said, “While our communities suffer from Chevrons toxic emissions, catastrophic spills, leakages, and explosions, David O’Reilly speaks of his hurt feelings. This is about the health of communities and, ultimately, the long term of health of O’Reilly’s corporation if he continues to choose to do nothing and ignore the costs of Chevron’s operations in the Philippines.”
While O’Reilly tried to quiet deep shareholder concerns, outside members of Bay Area Iraq Veterans Against the War, Unconventional Action, Bay Area Rising Tide, Communities for a Better Environment, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, the Burmese Democratic Club, Global Exchange, Rainforest Action Network, and many more made sure their concerns could not be ignored. Once the representatives of the Chevron affected communities entered the gates, some groups blocked the front gates of Chevron world headquarters in solidarity with the global and local struggles against Chevron. The rally occupied the front entrance and continued until the shareholder meeting concluded and the community representatives came out, addressed the crowd, and concluded with a chant “we will be back!”
Amazon Watch, Crude Accountability, Global Exchange, Justice in Nigeria Now, Rainforest Action Network, CorpWatch, Filipino-American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity, Sierra Club Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Trustees for Alaska, Communities for a Better Environment, Mpalabanda, Richmond Progressive Alliance and EarthRights International.
More information at http://TrueCostofChevron.com
Crude Press Release
May 27, 2009
Contact: Kate Watters