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Protesters rally against money in politics, environmental impact at Chevron headquarters

Original post made on May 30, 2013

Activists called on Chevron to refrain from political spending and oust CEO John Watson outside the company's annual shareholders meeting Wednesday morning. A coalition of citizens' groups and non-governmental organizations chided the energy giant for failing to address human rights abuses at home and abroad.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 3:50 PM

Comments (19)

Posted by LMP
a resident of Danville
on May 30, 2013 at 6:52 am

"Hundreds" protest??

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on May 30, 2013 at 7:48 am

Why does Jessica Lipsky give a voice to lies?

Chevron doesn’t deny climate change or “any culpability” in the Richmond refinery fire.

John Watson is not, "basically a criminal operator around the world."

Chevron doesn’t have a "sordid environmental record."

It’s operations in Nigeria haven’t “economically marginalized the community and affected the reproductive health of local women.”

Posted by Eloise Hamann
a resident of San Ramon
on May 30, 2013 at 8:09 am

I was slightly misquoted. "Almost" all of the commenters had a beef with Chevron's management.

Posted by David Barlow
a resident of John Baldwin Elementary School
on May 30, 2013 at 8:11 am

I think with this kind of nonsense that Chevron should take its jobs and payroll to Houston which welcomes and nurtures energy companies who provide millions in community contributions and thousands of high paying jobs.....California does not deserve Chevron and its contribution to the economy and non-profits.

Posted by Huh?
a resident of Danville
on May 30, 2013 at 8:43 am

Chevron is the company that hired an American crook and an Ecuadorean guy under contract with Chevron to corner a judge down there, record their conversation, then edited it to make it sound like he had done something wrong. After passing their stooges off as "independent whistleblowers" and making a big splash with the edited tape they flew the Ecuadorean guy here to San Ramon and paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars. (The editing came to light later.)

Why would a company with nothing to hide do that kind of stuff? I mean, spending millions on spin is one thing, but hiring crooks and con men to fabricate evidence isn't really the hallmark of an ethical company, is it?

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on May 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

The Ecuadorian plaintiffs are the con artists, fabricating evidence, threatening judges. Their lawyers are criminals and will face justice. Petroecuador has been dumping oil in its rivers for decades, poisoning its people and now they want Chevron to pay to clean up their mess? No way.

These rainforest activists are delusional. They aren’t “seizing [Chevron’s] assists [sp] in Argentina, in Canada, in Brazil.” A few weeks ago, the Canadians laughed them out of court, telling them to take a hike. And Chevron just acquired new exploration blocks in Argentina and Brazil and made a $2 billion loan to Venezuela. That doesn’t sound like a company in retreat.

Chevron’s not going to Houston. It was here in California long before these loonies moved here. California has a long history of oil exploration. It has billions of barrels of untapped oil. Someday California will come to its senses.

Posted by Cilla Raughley
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I wasn't there, but I sure do want to thank those who were. Our government was never intended to be controlled by corporations the way it is today. Thank you for your work to restore a government of the people that will also be by the people and for the people.

Posted by John
a resident of Danville
on May 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm


I hope SPCWT and Dave are planning on following Chevron to good ole Texas. Rick will be waiting for you. HeeHaw

Howdy Partners

Posted by Rocky Fella
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2013 at 7:08 am

Wow -- somebody sure got a rise out of poster spcwt.

There's not much Q that Texaco's (now Chevron's) explorations in Ecuador caused monumental, unnecessary environmental damage that would not have been allowed if those wells were dug in the first world. Texaco's problem was that its flexible ethics allowed it to ruin that landscape because the corrupt Ecuadoran government didn't care what they did, as long as they made the oil flow.

Texaco knew how to do it right, but they didn't bother, because they didn't have to. In so doing, they destroyed lives and habitat and Huaoroni native cultures that had existed there for eons destroyed them forever. There's a pretty good book about it with the ironic title "Savages," by an Oakland-based author Joe Kane Web Link

Chevron knew all about it when they bought Texaco, but they hoped tit wouldn't come back to bite 'em in the butt. It has, costing untold million$ in very expensive lawyers to fight the judgment which, while it too may have been corrupt, was not incorrect in assessing blame or toting up the damage done. Texaco lay down with dogs, and Chevron inherited its fleas.

The lesson is: when you know how to do it right -- do it right! Chevron may be paying more to fight that judgment than Texaco ever saved while it raped the Ecuadoran rainforest. Short-term corporate thinking.

BTW -- you heard it here first -- There's no compelling reason for Chevron to move its HQ from here, and they won't. It would be hugely expensive and disruptive, and all those folks have seen Houston. Won't happen.

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on May 31, 2013 at 11:01 am

Texaco left waste water in open pits, a common industry practice at the time. Texaco was sued and ultimately agreed to spend million cleaning it up, even though it wasn’t legally liable to do so. Afterwards, the Ecuadorian government certified that the pits had been cleaned and released Texaco of any liability. That should’ve been the end of it.

Texaco didn’t “rape” the Ecuadoran rainforest as you assert. Nor did it cause “monumental, unnecessary environmental damage.” You don’t know what you’re talking about.


I hope Chevron never moves its HQ to Houston. As a fourth generation Californian from the Bay Area, I would consider it a very sad day if that were ever to happen.

Chevron is almost certainly California’s biggest taxpayer and such a move would likely cause a large hole in California’s finances. It would also hurt local businesses.

Moving a HQ all at once would be expensive. It would seem a slow exit would be more feasible, one division at a time, so they don’t have to pay severance packages to employees. Chevron recently announced 400 positions are leaving California, including parts of the Business Development group and exploration technology. My neighbor works for Chevron and her job is moving to Houston. She can either move with her job, find another job, or quit. No severance package.

Chevron continues to shrink its presence in California, moving jobs to Houston and elsewhere. The vast majority of its business is outside California. When Chevron creates new positions, they are mostly located outside California. Chevron’s main oil and natural gas exploration business HQs have already moved out of California. Oil and natural gas is what make Chevron rich. Not gasoline sales. What’s left in San Ramon is their less profitable businesses, plus HQ jobs.

Posted by Rocky Fella
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Ah, so when the Ecuadoran government settles environmental claims against a company for pennies on the dollar, it's just -- but when its judiciary awards damages in a lawsuit against the same company, why, that's corrupt! Pretty gymnastic, I'd say.

The Texaco operations left 16 million gallons of spilled crude (1.6 x Exxon Valdez), and 19 BILLION gallons of drilling water -- in unlined pits. They damaged the land with that and many other careless practices, and the local water supply, and then they left when their contract ran out. Perhaps you could show me where, in the US or elsewhere in the first world, unlined pits were used for produced water in the 1980s and 1990s? 'Common industry practice,' my big furry patoot.

I do know one-or-two things about this situation -- and My reading is not limited to Company press releases. Other oil companies steered-clear of Ecuador, because they looked down the road and saw it for what it was. They took their investments elsewhere. Texaco did not, and they -- now Chevron -- are paying a price for their lack of foresight, and for their sloppy practices. Hard to have much sympathy for them -- in contrast to the (former) Huaoroni tribes.

Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on May 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm

@David Barlow -

The fact that you would suggest an "all of nothing" approach only demonstrates that you really don't understand the purpose of public protest, which has a long and honorable tradition in this country.

The protestors are not saying, "pack up and leave." They are trying to convince Chevron to mend its ways.

To suggest that the choice is between shutting up or having Chevron leave is kinda immature.

The suggestion in your comments that Chevron's local good deeds somehow buy it immunity from criticism for its actions elsewhere in the world is equally illogical.

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on May 31, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Waste water pits were used right here in the U.S., in Texas and Louisiana, during the same period.

Texaco didn’t settle claims for pennies on the dollar. They cleaned up PetroEcuador’s mess.

And Texaco didn’t “exit when their contract ran out.” Ecuador stole Texaco’s oil interests.

You don’t know squat.

Posted by Rocky Fella
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2013 at 2:32 pm

1 -- Not contaminated water in UNLINED waste pits, by a very long shot! You cannot be seriously attempting to peddle such nonsense.

2 -- Texaco was the Operator, brought-in by the Ecuadoran government precisely for that reason. PetroEcuador was majority owner, but they relied-on Texaco's operating 'expertise' -- that's why they didn't do it themselves, because they couldn't. You are trying to hide Texaco's haphazard practices and culpability behind the locals' ownership percentage, which is a cheap linguistic trick.

3 -- the clean-up was woefully incomplete, "pennies on the dollar" of what was needed to remediate the land and water.

4 -- you would have us believe that those crafty third world Latins "stole" Texaco's interest?? Was that before-or-after they pushed them good ol' Multinational Corporate boys offa that turnip truck? And so now it's Ecuadoran Corruption 2, Justice 1?

Your loyalty is touching, but those are some dirty skirts, there in San Ramon.

Posted by One of the Good Guys
a resident of Danville
on May 31, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I blame our education system for people like these protesters in our society.

I worked for Chevron for over 35 years (now retired). I never once saw them do anything even remotely unethical. In fact they often went to great lengths to make sure that they held themselves to the very highest standards of honesty, competence, compliance and social responsibility.

As for whether corporations are people ... of course they are people. What else would they be? Chevron is made up of 50,000 hard working scientists, engineers, highly skilled operators and other personnel. How could it be anything else but people? How stupid is it to even ask that question.

I would like to see how these protesters would cope in a society without the low cost energy that is supplied by energy corporations like Chevron. They would be going to work (if they work at all) by horse-back or bicycle.

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on May 31, 2013 at 3:28 pm

There were thousands of unlined waste water pits in use in Texas and Louisiana back in the 1980’s. Yes, UNLINED. Do you know anything about the oil industry?

You could Google it, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Posted by Rocky Fella
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Most produced water is reinjected, under Safe Drinking Water Act Permits -- since the 1970s. And Best Practices have long-since called for lined pits. Them's just facts.

Posted by Diane Johns
a resident of San Ramon
on May 31, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Chevron mend its ways? Why not start with senator Feinstein whose hubby--Richard Blum--got the sole contract SOMEHOW-to sell over 50 USPS buildings!!! Wait---what about stretch Pelosi who does NOT allow her winery workers to be unionized!? Oh shock!!!!! Gotta go buy some Chevron gas.

Posted by Rob Andrews
a resident of San Ramon
on May 31, 2013 at 10:55 pm

One of the good guys is correct---the public gov schools have happily created non-thinking drones. The swallow the pablum of their libTARD teachers who were on clear display during the Michigan "right to work" riots. Vote down ALL public school money are brainwashed. Credentialing programs will drop candidates who are suspected of conservative (pro-American) thought.

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