Zalul Environmental Association and Alistair International appealed to the Petroleum Council not to allow Chevron Petroleum, which plans to acquire Noble Energy, to enter the Israeli energy market, and mentioned major environmental disasters for which it was responsible. "Chevron not only refused to take responsibility and address the massive environmental pollution it caused, in the heart of a naturally virgin area of high ecological importance, but also brutally pursued the plaintiffs' human rights defender," the appeal said.
Zalul (“clear” in Hebrew), Israel’s leading marine preservation NGO, and Alistair International, which helps indigenous peoples in third world countries, today (Monday) appealed to the Petroleum Council to hold an open public hearing on the acquisition of Noble Energy, including the company's Israeli resources, before the sale contract is finalized: "Chevron is an unreliable, immoral company that has evaded legal obligations and must not be allowed to enter the Israeli energy market – until it proves otherwise," the appeal said.
In their letter, the organizations say that Chevron is responsible for some of the biggest ecological disasters in history – the oil spill in Lago Agrio in Ecuador, known as the "Chernobyl of the Amazon", as well as severe oil leaks in Nigeria and California. In all incidents, Chevron evaded responsibility and treatment for the massive environmental pollution it caused. In Ecuador it is accused of refusing to accept local court rulings and persecuting environmental activists, and in Africa it is accused of persecuting the local public.
In the campaign to regulate public and natural rights in Ecuador, the local court ruled over $9 billion in damages, but Chevron evaded payment and instead launched a vicious battle Alistar International is U.S. NGO with a mission of defense of indigenous right to land; registered in Hawai`i www.alistarinternationalusa.org
against the plaintiffs' human rights defender, Adv. Stephen Danziger, to deter other environmentalists from fighting it.
Chevron’s attitude against 30,000 poor Indigenous people from Ecuador who’s lives the company severely harmed, and the harassment of Adv. Danziger with a $35 million false lawsuit, reflect very poorly on Chevron's blatant and disgusting character and lack of virtue. With such attitude, there is no guarantee Chevron will act differently towards the law and the courts in Israel, as well as respect and protect the Israeli sea, water and public health, especially in the event of a disaster of oil or gas leakage of any magnitude, and damage to our nature.
l, the organizations mentioned additional cases: In May-August 2019, Chevron spilled approx. 5 million liters (5000 M3) of crude oil and other liquids into a dry riverbed in Keren County, California, making it the largest oil spill in the state in 30 years. Instead of acting quickly to stop the leak, the company acted in an attempt to hide and silence the pollution it caused.
At the Niger Delta, off the coast of Nigeria, Africa, Chevron was responsible for two oil spill incidents, in 2008 and 2014, and to this day the area has not been fully rehabilitated.
Zalul reminded the Petroleum Council of its legal obligation to know the full details of companies that come for approval before recommending the granting of gas and oil drilling rights in Israel "We urge you to freeze any planned decision of the Petroleum Council and conduct an open Knesset debate, to which tribal leaders in Ecuador and professionals from the American environmental NGO "Sierra Club”, will present the House of Representatives, members of the Petroleum Council and the public the important
environmental facts about Chevron’s destructive attitude and its disregard of violations and of local laws of the countries in which they operate”.
Zalul and the Alistair International posed a challenge to Chevron, in order to allow it to present goodwill before beginning its work in Israel, by putting an end to the long-time persecution and cease all litigation attacks on the affected communities and their lawyers, and by committing to a transparent, open settlement process with leaders of the communities based on the judgement validated by multiple appellate courts in Ecuador and Canada.
"Without these two moves, which are necessary to illustrate the Chevron’s goodwill to take responsibility for the large-scale disaster it caused in Ecuador, Zalul will use every available measure to prevent Chevron from working in Israel and making the public aware of the company’s harmful wars.”
Read the list of Zalul's environmental demands for safe drilling at sea, which the Ministries of Energy and Environmental Protection have been postponing under various excuses since 2012.