The oil situation in the Amazon is a major environmental problem. The 60 Minutes segment outlining the lawsuit between a group of Ecuadorian people and Chevron shows the major problems in not only irresponsible oil production but what comes after the production has stopped. With over 900 oil waste pits leaking into the groundwater or off shooting (by design) into streams, the problem will only spread. A company like Chevron was able to enter into the agreement with the Ecuador Petro company and profit without any liability or responsibility.
The spokeswoman for Chevron shows how an American based company can go to a foreign country, exploit its resources and cause major damage without having to be restricted by the environmental laws in the U. S. People bath, do their wash, drink this water that is extremely polluted. It is no wonder that the lawsuit’s financial price tags is 27 billion dollars. Perhaps, the most interesting part of the television segment is the light thrown on companies who seek out these types of agreements only to shirk any later responsibility. Chevron figures that outside their country they can get around laws that would prevent similar disasters.
Though they were partnered with Ecuador Petro, Chevron was still the operator and in charge of the construction and operation of the pits. Therefore it stands that they should be responsible for more than the clean up of 1/9 of the pits. Having said that the lawsuit, which was first broached in a U. S. court in 1993 was not U. S. jurisdiction they are now saying that the Ecuadorian government will work against them and they cannot get a fair trial. I have to wonder though, where is the fairness in ruining a land where they have no interest except the bottom dollar line?