Tony Soprano Environmentalism

The Ecuadoran $18 billion court decision is turning out to be a monumental case of environmental fraud.  I am willing to believe that early critics of Texaco (now Chevron) had legitimate beefs about the company's stewardship in its drilling operations in the 1970's in the Amazon.  However, all semblance of principle has gone right out the window in a gigantic money grab.

A while back, it was reported that environmentalists (featured in the movie "Crude" were captured in the outtakes of the movie discussing how they lied about the science to the courts in order to score a big payday (bonus points for Obama appointing one of the fraudsters to the National Academy of Sciences).  See the link for the video evidence.

Past fraud revelations have cast doubt on the key scientific report submitted to the court as part of the proceedings, a report that is now known to have been ghost-written by the plaintiffs.  However, supporters of the judgement against Chevron have argued that the judge has always claimed that this study did not sway his decision in the case.  Now we know what did sway his decision:

Today new allegations of deceit and wrongdoing were leveled against the plaintiffs' lawyers bringing the already deeply troubled environmental suit against Chevron in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, which stems from Texaco's oil drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon between 1964 and 1992. (Texaco was acquired by Chevron in 2001.)

In Manhattan federal district court this morning, Chevron filed the declaration of a former Ecuadorian judge, Alberto Guerra, who describes how he and a second former judge, Nicolás Zambrano, allegedly allowed the plaintiffs lawyers to ghostwrite their entire 188-page, $18.2 billion judgment against Chevron in exchange for a promise of $500,000 from the anticipated recovery.


  1. Eris Guy:

    Half a million from eighteen billion. Unbelievable. No government official works that cheaply. I’m sure the drug cartels pay much better for judges.

  2. NormD:

    " Ecuadoran 418 billion court decision". What is 418?

  3. glenn.griffin3:


    It's easy to award $18 billion when it's Somebody Else's Money™.

  4. nehemiah:

    I don't know what to say. I'm stunned and shocked that people in the environmental movement would act in this manner. They are usually much more careful about hiding their fraud.

  5. Ryan:

    418 billion is $18 billion without holding the shift key.

  6. Matthew Slyfield:

    The case is even worse than it seems. The judgement they are trying to enforce is actually from a SECOND case against Texaco in Ecuadoran courts.

    The basic facts are

    1) Texaco was brought in to Ecuador by the Ecuadoran government to start oil production operations there.

    2) Eventually Texaco was kicked out of Ecuador and the operations were taken over by a state oil company set up for that purpose.

    3) A case for environmental damage was brought against Texaco.

    4) This first case was settled out of court with Texaco being required to clean up those sites it had operated but the remaining sites were supposed to be handled by the Ecuadoran government.

    5). Texaco cleaned up those sites it was responsible for.

    6). An environmental group sued in Ecuadoran courts to force Texaco to fund the cleanup of the remaining sites which had be setup and operated exclusively by the Ecuadoran state oil company. This is the case that the $18 Billion dollar judgement comes from.

    I strong case can be made that even for those sites that Texaco had originally operated (and which Texaco has already cleaned up) most of the environmental damage was due to incompetent management by the Ecuadoran state oil company after Texaco left.

  7. markm:

    Texaco is also the company that was hit with a $10 billion judgment for outbidding Pennzoil for the Getty Oil reserves - after Getty had agreed orally to sell to Pennzoil. Is it common for oil companies to lose cases really big, is Texaco just unlucky, or is their management what some people refer to disparagingly as "cowboys"? (Which is a great misnomer - at least in 1985 at the time of the Getty deal, Pennzoil was managed by Texans and Texaco by New York City financiers. I think we all found out which group is more inclined to recklessness just a few years ago.)

  8. Steve Walser:

    "Tony Soprano Environmentalism"

    Unfortunately there is almost no other kind left and that is a real pity.