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12 Mar 2013

David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

Chevron battles activist shareholders [USA]

Chevron has asked federal regulators to let the company block a nearly identical proposal from discussion at this year's shareholders meeting. It's one of two shareholder proposals that the San Ramon company has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to block. Both deal with a long-running, $19 billion pollution lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuador. The shareholders pushing the proposals want Chevron to settle the suit. Company executives call the suit extortion and have vowed never to pay. Instead, Chevron has pushed back against its activist shareholders. Last fall, the company even subpoenaed documents from some of them. The second proposal Chevron seeks to block asks the company's board to explain the rationale behind those subpoenas…But Chevron spokesman Morgan Crinklaw said other companies, including Clorox and Procter & Gamble, have won the commission's permission to exclude similar proposals on similar grounds…