Chevron Fights Ecuador Lawsuit

Reader Contribution by Ramsey Cox

The Wall Street Journal reported that the oil company, Chevron Corp., told shareholders that it would not pay Ecuador if it lost in the largest environmental judgment in history.

Chevron expects to lose the long-running environmental lawsuit in Ecuador and is now fighting a possible $27 billion case in the U.S.

Residents of Ecuador’s oil producing area are seeking damages for environmental contamination caused by Texaco. Texaco operated in Ecuador between 1964 and 1990. Chevron purchased Texaco in 2001.

Chevron denies the allegations, saying that Texaco operated under local and international standards. Texaco paid for a $40 million cleanup in the 1990s to resolve environmental liability.

Chevron expects to lose the case in Ecuador at the end of this year and plans to appeal. Because Chevron has never operated in Ecuador the court will be unable to seize company assets if Chevron refuses to pay, which would require the plaintiffs to enforce the ruling in the U.S.