Chevron casts doubt on award winners

April 14, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Are the environmental heroes, or lying profiteers? Two Ecuadorian men will be among those receiving the green version of the Oscars tonight, from a San Francisco-based foundation. The two are leading a multi-billion dollar class-action lawsuit against Chevron, but the company claims the lawsuit is based on lies. Both sides will speak on the issue today.

Instead of the courtroom, they're moving the battle to the Fairmont. There will be dueling press conferences; Chevron is ready to push back on this.

In a video, provided by the San Francisco based Goldman Foundation, environmentalists say you can see the damage that's been done to the Amazon. The two award winners claim Chevron caused the damage from when it drilled for oil in 1964 to 1990. And that Chevron left more then 1,000 pools of polluted ground water mixed with gas and oil.

Chevron says the men who are suing them are conmen and they are working to protect an Ecuadorian oil company that is really to blame for all of this. Chevron executives say they can prove their company didn't cause the damage.

"The science in our case is rock hard, regardless of what you may think of oil companies, the science doesn't lie," said Kent Robertson, Chevron spokesperson.

"It makes me angry when I see the damage that they've done and what they're responsible for and how they continue to lie about what they've actually done," said Luis Yanza, Amazon Defense Coalition.

Earlier in the month, an Ecuadorian judge ordered the San Ramon based Chevron to pay $16 billion dollars to cleanup the Amazon. But Chevron says it already spent $40 million to cleanup the mess when it left in the 90s and it is done spending money to cleanup the Amazon.

So today will not be about a polite applause and acceptance speeches - Chevron said the Goldman Awards has been duped and it's ready to challenge all of this praise.


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