״מתוך מחקר שערכתי על שברון והמידע שאספתי מ-31 מדינות, יש לי חשש עמוק לגבי כל אזרחי ישראל ושכנותיה, ובעצם לגבי כל מי שעושה עסקים עם שברון״.
ואלו הנתונים המזעזעים שאספה:
מתוך 65 הליכים משפטיים שהוגשו ב-31 מדינות נגד שברון:
71% כוללים הפרות של זכויות קרקע, חיים ובטחון – נגד אוכלוסיות מקומיות
ב-100% מתוך כל התביעות שנמצאות בדיון משפטי או היו בדיון משפטי שברון מסרבת לפצות את הצדדים הנפגעים.
83% (מהדיונים המשפטיים) עדיין לא הגיעו להסדר, 65% מהתביעות מכילות עדויות על פגיעה חמורה בזכויות אדם: עינויים, עבודות כפייה, עבדות, אונס ורצח.
״חשוב לישראל לדעת, שלאחרונה יש לשברון שני אירועים קשים של סדקים ופיצוצים באסדות של קידוחי גז טבעי כמו לוויתן.
תגובת משרד האנרגיה לנתונים האלו: ״אנחנו לא מקשיבים לרכילויות!״
Testimony of Dr. Nan Marie Greer
Re: Purchase of Nobel Energy Israel resources by Chevron (2020)
TIME: Live Zoom
Sept. 8, 12am-midnight Los Angeles, CA (Mon-Tues)
Thank you Chairperson Miki Haimovich and distinguished members of Knesset for this amazing opportunity to speak.
My name is Dr. Nan Greer, I am an Environmental Anthropologist working over 25 years conducting fieldwork in indigenous rights, 12 years as a professor, and I am the Executive Director of Alistar International, an NGO defending indigenous rights around the world. My field sites include: Central America, Hawaiian Islands, the Middle East/Levant, and as of the last month, Africa.
In this last month, I conducted my own comprehensive research about Chevron’s environmental problems and conflicts with communities and governments around the world. What I discovered just from looking at data from 31 countries was alarming.
In each of these 31 countries, I identified a significant and credible litigation over environmental damage, criminal abuse and industrial crimes that communities, citizens, or government entities had filed against Chevron. I identified countries such as Australia where Chevron had serious conflicts with governments over tax cheating that was resolved by courts to the government’s favor.
While this research is not exhaustive, there is sufficient evidence readily available to the public that provides a disgusting and shocking picture of a company refusing to comply with social, environmental, and taxpaying responsibilities — a company that litigates until silence from its victims, refusing legal compliance at all costs. I found this approach repeated in country after country.
The evidence of Chevron’s extensive record of non-compliance, which we ask this Committee to review, should be of concern to all Israeli citizens and its neighbors — indeed to all citizens and governments of any country doing business with Chevron or thinking about doing business with Chevron. At a minimum, it raises serious questions that in my view should be addressed by authorities before Israel can responsibly make an informed decision about whether to approve Chevron’s purchase of vital national energy assets.
Here is a summary of my findings.
Of the 65 litigations identified against Chevron reported in 31 countries,
- 71% involved grave violations of rights to land, life, and safety against local populations;
- 100% were being litigated, or had been litigated, with Chevron refusing to deal with concerns of those affected;
- 83% had yet to produce a settlement, largely due to Chevron’s decision to spend funds on law firms to fight the claims;
- 65% of the litigations involved documented claims of severe human rights abuses, including torture, forced labor/slavery, rape, murder, and even genocide-as in the case of the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline
For Israel, it is critical to note that currently, Chevron has two severe cases of cracks and blowouts in the area of LNG/Liquified Natural Gas (such as the Leviathan), one in Barrow Island, Australia. The other location in China dating 2006 and 2003 shows 41,000 people were dislocated from their homes, and another 9,000 poisoned. The Australian Barrow rig has only now been stopped in August of this year due to government demands after repeated petitioning by Australia and Maori workers.
Nigeria: Beginning in the 1960s through today, Chevron and its subsidiaries managed global oil and gas extraction with unparalleled criminal abuse, industrial crimes, and environmental destruction. In Nigeria, massive deposits of crude oil litters canal wetlands of multiple indigenous groups in the Niger Delta still to this day, with the Tsekelewu Ijaw community, the Ogoni and Oljaw , and indigenous women of the Aja-Omaeta and Escravos groups (over 500,000 people) loosing life, livelihoods, homes, land, and food. With cases extending from the 1960s through the 2000s, each group found Chevron out-litigating them. Chevron continues poisoning their lands with well and drill fires, five documented in the last year alone. In desperate response to severe economic and environmental damage from Chevron’s activities, the Ilaje people staged a nonviolent protest and were attacked by a “mobile police” called in by Chevron, the company was sued in the U.S. and denied liability for community deaths and brutality from the incident.
Ecuador: In the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, Chevron acquired Texaco company and liabilities that came from such horrid spills and pollution, the company shockingly refused to pay a $9.5B judgement set by Ecuadorian courts due to deliberate discharge of over 16 billion gallons of toxic waste, abandonment of 1,000 toxic waste pits, and evidence of levels of pollution in soils and water at 200 times allowable contamination in the United States. Loss of life, land displacement and corruption are among issues these populations have dealt with since the 1970s. Numerous people have died of cancer and other oil-related diseases in the impacted area, according to independent health evaluations I read. Five Indigenous groups have been affected, with severe cultural, economic, and health impacts. Instead of addressing a settlement, Chevron chose instead to attack their head lawyer, Steven Donziger, putting him under house arrest over a year and even as I speak, for his failure to hand over confidential information of his clients, personal identifying information putting each of the 30,000 indigenous at risk personally to Chevron’s endless wrath. Were I to do such a thing conducting my work, I would be sued by universities and national governments. Steven has upheld the highest of ethics for his clients, protecting them from a violation of their human rights, and now his rights have been denied as a result.
Other countries: At the same time, in Kazakhstan, oil spills and gas flaring caused serious human rights abuses, at first affecting 4,000 people in the early 1990s. For over 20 years Chevron continued these criminal abuses of the region, as it did in both Nigeria and Ecuador, while producing over 21% of the Chevron’s world reserves. Their production in Kazakhstan left local communities with extensive air, groundwater, and soil contamination. In 2003, near the village of Berezovka, Karachaganak 50% of the population was found to be chronically ill, and in 2014, in this same community 1,400 people found their children had been poisoned while at their school from this pollution. In 2018, these children of Berezovka were diagnosed with Toxic Encephalopathy, a brain disease caused by chemical poisoning from hydrocarbons and fumes. No payments were made to them or their families. Court actions resulted in litigation errors.
Continuous violent crimes have gone unchecked from the mid-1990s until the present in Myanmar-E. Timor, with widespread, forced-slave labor, land confiscation, forced relocation, reports of rape, torture, murder, and corrupt practices with the national government.
Chevron has also failed to adhere to local government tax laws, it has not only been the people and their environment receiving a steady blow from Chevron, but nation states have failed to receive their due taxes according to signed agreements. This is a pattern I found in my research. Australia was one of few countries to sue successfully and receive the enormous tax funds owed the country. Similar discoveries were found in the Netherlands. Other countries have not been so successful, some have near collapsed. In 2000, Chevron began a pipeline from Chad to Cameroon on indigenous rainforest lands, displacing 22,000 Bakola Pygmy people with the contamination of their water sources and soils, loss of livelihood, loss of fisheries and other food sources. A huge protest led to violent conflict. After 2005 Chevron was ordered by the local government to leave Chad due to their failure to pay a $1.45B owed during their operations, this effectively turned the country to rubbles of poverty, through the failure of payment of taxes.
While Chevron has maintained a horrific international record, it is even more astounding what the company has done in its own country, and worse, in its own state.
In 2000 and again in 2009, Chevron was found guilty of failing to pay royalties of oil extracted from Native American and public lands. Later, Chevron paid the U.S. government $45.5M to “resolve allegations they had unpaid royalties from 1988 through 2008”.
The U.S. Justice Department, along with the EPA finalized a settlement with Chevron for $275M due to air pollution, in four states (California, Hawai’i, Mississippi, and Utah). In 2008, 400 Inuit villagers were forced to relocate from their town in Alaska due to flooding with Chevron named in the suit. This same year, the U.S. Public Water System settled with Chevron paying $422M to cover suits brought by the public in 20 states, consolidated in Federal Court. While in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Chevron blocked the Department of Environmental Protection from accessing their site for nearly two days following a fatal explosion.
Now today, in both Richmond and Kern County of Chevron’s own state in the U.S., communities are imploring Chevron to do the right thing, to clean up their recent spills and pollution in their areas. Both cases have been locked in litigation for years.
It is clear Chevron has vastly deceived its shareholders, the public, and governments around the world about disclosure of the financial and health impacts in these countries caused by the company’s operations.
I believe it is vital that Israeli citizens know the details of these cases so an informed decision can be made regarding the possible purchase of Nobel Energy resources by Chevron and the takeover by Chevron of Israeli energy assets. I ask you take careful consideration as you examine Chevron’s record and consider that each and every one of these incidents I speak of today, are possible in your country, including the jeopardizing of marginalized ethnic groups on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, neighbors to Israel.
Chevron has caused so many grave violations around the world, I have documented over 14 human rights mandates under the United Nations which pertain to these numerous heinous incidents. There is an alarming pattern of criminal abuse and human rights violations in relation to how Chevron chooses to conduct its business and litigate its mistakes.
Examining Chevron’s record, it is clear, it is among the very worst oil companies in the world in terms of its environmental and human rights record. Chevron stands alone in the fossil fuel industry with credible allegations of rape, torture, slavery, murder, massive spill contamination and refusal to clean, pay taxes, etc. with an astounding failure to make reparations and address grievances. Some of the most violent cases have gone largely unnoticed due to being located in the developing world, or in regions where indigenous and marginalized women have suffered the most, such as in the cases of Nigeria, both in and out of the Delta, and in Ecuador.
It is clear Chevron refuses to adhere to local country and international laws, violating legal business practices in at least 15 international cases I examined. One such case was against the United Nations litigated in 2007, and others include illegal payments, bribes, and violations of U.S. sanctions, as in the cases of both Iran and Iraq.
As I write this testimony, Venezuela has just announced yet another new Chevron site spill affecting Marrocoy National Park, causing what the local government calls an “ecocide of their national park”.
The following information learned from my research I believe is critical to note at this moment:
1-Chevron has directed vicious lawsuits against lawyers defending victim communities in the U.S., Ecuador, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cambodia, and China;
2-There are widespread accounts of destruction of marginalized people’s homes, resources, and livelihoods in Nigeria, U.S., Thailand, Cameroon, Chad, Angola, Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Poland, Indonesia, Canada, Azerbaijan, Romania, China, E. Timor/Myanmar, and Ghana;
3-There are reported acts of violence, torture, forced labor-slavery, rape, murder, and terrorism in Nigeria, Angola, Poland, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Romania, Burma, China, Chad, Cameroon, E. Timor/Myanmar, Thailand, and Ghana;
4-Chevron has failed to pay taxes to countries that are then failing economically as a result – Sudan, Angola, Chad, Cameroon, and Native American nations;
5-Chevron is reported violating the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) in Equatorial Guinea, Iraq, Iran, Cambodia, Indonesia, Angola, Argentina, and Liberia;
6-Chevron has refused to comply with country mandated cleanup costs in Thailand, U.S., Argentina, Nigeria, Ecuador, Venezuela, Poland, Azerbaijan, Romania, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, China, E. Timor/Myanmar, and Ghana;
7-Chevron has ignored local country orders to shut down operations in dangerous conditions in Australia (last month), Canada, U.S., Nigeria, Brazil, and China
8-Chevron has rejected country litigations around the world;
9-Chevron has been liable to violating United Nations regulations;
10-Chevron has been warned by countries around the world to comply with local and international laws, yet chose to ignore such warnings, including taking Ecuador to court, in an attempt to force the country to cover cleanup costs that had been identified as Chevron’s responsibility;
11-There are continuing destructive activities in countries around the world, despite such countries mandating no further activities, or mandating redress from past violations;
12-There is an increasing deterioration of Chevron’s approach to litigating against local community defenders and lawyers, most notable being the case of Mr. Steven Donziger, now under house arrest without trial for over a year in the United States for refusing to turn over his confidential client files on over 30,000 Amazonian indigenous, potentially putting at risk the lives of his own clients, and violating their international rights of protection under the U.N. Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other legal instruments;
Thank you it has been a pleasure to address you with these grave concerns I have about Chevron’s global record. I hope great care is taken in assessment of this company prior to giving them a green light that may poison Israel’s beautiful home and possibly harm its amazing people. During such an uncertain time, I would hate to see more Chevron human rights violations, criminal abuses, and industrial crimes, what I have read in the past month has made me sick, and I wasn’t even poisoned.
Dr. Nan Marie Greer is an Environmental Anthropologist, former Adjunct Professor for the University of Hawai`i and University of Redlands, and Executive Director of Alistar International, an NGO working in indigenous rights around the world for over 25 years. Dr. Greer has worked in Central America, the Hawaiian Islands, the Middle East/Levant, and now Africa. In consortium with Alistar International, Dr. Greer assisted the Mayangna indigenous territory, Awastingni in the first indigenous land rights documentation under international law, establishing methods and protocols for others around the world.