San Francisco, CA - As public outrage at the oil industry intensifies and questions on how to reign in the industry abound, an unprecedented global coalition of communities harmed by -- and fighting back against -- the industry present both a groundbreaking report, The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative 2009 Annual Report, and a landmark organizing model for taking on Big Oil.
Written by dozens of community leaders from sixteen countries and ten states across the United States where Chevron operates, the 60-page report encompasses the full range of Chevron's activities, from coal to chemicals, offshore to onshore production, pipelines to refineries, natural gas to toxic waste, and lobbying and campaign contributions to greenwashing.
From the coalfields of Alabama to the oil fields of Indonesia, the report reveals Chevron operations mired in accusation of extreme human rights abuse (Angola, Burma, Indonesia, Chad, and Nigeria); mass environmental and human health devastation (including Ecuador, Kazakhstan, and Canada); toxic abuse of its neighbors (including Alabama, California, Mississippi, Texas, Thailand, and the Philippines); abuse of its workers (including Utah); threats to endangered species (including Australia and the U.S. Gulf Coast); and, in Iraq, intensifying the violent insurgency and putting the lives of U.S. and Iraqi service members at greater risk. All the while, Chevron continued to promote itself as a 'green' energy company while, the report reveals, expanding its coal operations (it was recently named as operating one of the most dangerous mines in the U.S., the Kemmerer, WY mine), offshore, and Canadian Tarsands operations; being named California's single largest stationary Greenhouse Gas emitter; and being identified by Barrons as one of the 'oiliest' of the world's major oil companies.
"Chevron spent less than 2% of its total capital and exploratory budget on green energy in 2009, its lowest rate in any year since at least 2006," explained Antonia Juhasz, lead author and editor of the report and author of The Tyranny of Oil: the World's Most Powerful Industry -- And What We Must Do To Stop It. "Chevron's misrepresentation of its actual business practices translates across Chevron's operations and is the reason why it is the focus of one of the largest and most unique networks of communities organizing to hold the oil industry to account."
On May 25, forty report authors will appear in Houston at a press conference to address the true cost of Chevron's operations in their communities. On May 26, they will deliver the report directly to Chevron inside the company's Annual General Meeting (AGM) while supporters rally outside.
The 2009 report has gained even greater import in the wake of the BP/Transocean explosion as it exposes Chevron's role as the largest leaseholder in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and its role at the forefront of lobbying to expand offshore drilling across the U.S. and around the world. Chevron also contracts with Transocean for its massive offshore operations.
Report author, Bryan Parras, of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS) in Houston, explained, "The oil industry operates with impunity here in Houston and across the Gulf Coast. It is critical that our communities work together to hold these companies to account."