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27 Jan 2011

[opinion] Jon Entine, Ethical Corporation

Chevron and Ecuador: Truth proves slippery for journalists

Two years ago, the US news programme 60 Minutes, on CBS, reported on [the] lawsuit against Chevron, owner of Texaco, over oil pollution in the Ecuadorian rainforest… CBS framed the story as a battle between white hats and black hats…The simplistic narrative is this. When environmental problems arise, corporations should be forced to pay up, regardless of their culpability, because they have deep pockets…It was biased, un-nuanced journalism, and does nothing to help society face the challenge of cleaning up environmental disasters when responsibility is difficult to assign…I’ve reviewed dozens of emails and transcripts sent by both sides. It’s impossible to parcel out responsibility between Chevron and PetroEcuador, although various courts will take stabs at it...Because Chevron has no assets in Ecuador, the case will begin its torturous journey through the courts of the world, as the plaintiffs try to collect. [also refers to Petroecuador]