Eucadorian Judge Finds Chevron Guilty in $8 Billion Lawsuit

ECUADOR – Several major news agencies are reporting that an Eucadorian Judge has found Chevron guilty in what has been an 18-year-long trial.

Reuters reports:

A court in Ecuador’s Amazon jungle has ordered Chevron to pay $8 billion in a closely-watched environmental lawsuit, but the U.S. oil company rejected the ruling as “illegitimate”.

The highly controversial case has triggered related legal action in U.S. courts and international arbitration and is being monitored by the oil industry for precedents that could lead to other large claims.

If you’re unfamiliar with the lawsuit, here’s some background from Rainforest Action Network:

Between 1964 and 1990, Texaco (which Chevron acquired in 2001) drilled for oil in a remote northern region of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest.  Using obsolete technology and substandard environmental controls, the company deliberately dumped 18.5billion gallons of highly toxic waste sludge into the streams and rivers that local people depend on for drinking, bathing, and fishing. The company dug over 900 open-air, unlined waste pits that continue to seep toxins into the ground. The sludge contains some of the most dangerous chemicals known — including benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — in lethal concentrations. Rupturing oil pipelines and gas flaring was also a regular occurrence.

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