Chevron vs. the Amazon

Chevron vs. the Amazon

2016, Environment  -   11 Comments
Ratings: 8.22/10 from 67 users.

The oil industry giant Chevron began operating in Ecuador's Amazon rain forest in 1964. Over the course of thirty years, this majestic environmental wonder became the victim of unregulated corporate abuse and greed. By the time the corporation vacated the area in 1992, their toxic footprint had brought about 1700 times more damage to the environment than the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill in the United States. Empire Files host Abby Martin visits the scene of the crime in Chevron vs. the Amazon, and uncovers the extent to which the criminal acts of industry have spoiled the riches of a tropical paradise.

The Amazon plays host to hundreds of thousands of unique species of plant life, insects, animals, as well as an equally diverse human population. All of this came under threat when Chevron established operations in the region over 50 years ago.

At the film's outset, we are given a series of sobering statistics. During their years of operation, the corporation dumped 17 billion gallons of crude oil and 19 billions gallons of contaminated waste water into the region. Prior to vacating, they attempted to hide their environmental atrocities by covering these spills with dirt or setting them ablaze. The totality of their offenses simply could not be denied, however, as the land and its people have suffered from its devastating impact over the ensuing decades.

Ecological experts give us a glimpse of the damage. The plant life that manages to thrive is internally saturated with crude oil, and the rivers are marbled with poisonous contaminants. Meanwhile, the Ecuadorian citizens have suffered their own plights in the wake of Chevron's invasion. The harmony they share and cherish with their homeland has been sabotaged, and they're experiencing increased incidents of disease and early death.

As is the specialty of the Empire Files series, the filmmakers place this in the context of an industrialized machine that runs without regulation or oversight. Without a doubt, Chevron was given free reign in the region for many years, and the implication is that they greased the pockets of decision makers in order to procure the freedom to operate as they wished. A series of lawsuits are currently working their way through the courts system, and the film places harsh criticism on many of the tactics Chevron is employing to navigate their way out of them.

Chevron vs. the Amazon is an impassioned plea for greater accountability and oversight when it comes to protecting the health and survival of our planet.

Directed by: Abby Martin

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sh ittingbull
1 year ago

If you are stupid enough to let a bull into your china shop and run wild, don't blame the bull for the consequences.

6 years ago

The extra big lie is that we need ANY fossil fuel at all. Iraq war was about oil being sold in non US currency which would have prevented banksters from reaping their huge currency exchange fees. Afghan conflict is about securing an oil pipeline route. Past "accidental" deaths of South American presidents, over access to their oil.

True energy independence independence from big oil and gas, independence from nuclear, and their big energy lobby. We don't need it at all. Same for the huge windmill farms. They want you tied to paying a monthly energy bill to the big boys.

Big oil's next lie is that it takes more energy to produce Ethanol than you get. Total lie as is the food vs. fuel claim. If you believe that congress persons can be bought, then you must also believe that University studies and media companies can be bought. What would you do if you were big oil and stood to lose billions to an alternative carbon neutral fuel? The propaganda never ends. Turn off the media and do your own homework.

Anyone can make Ethanol. That is independence. And that is why all the propaganda against it. More food since the protein is left after the carbohydrates are converted to ethanol. Brazil gets 6 to 8 times the energy out as it took to make it. Employs people locally. Fuel isn't wasted shipping it long distances. No maimed or dead young soldiers or ethanol. Far less pollution, even if you do spill it, it mixes with water. Shelf life is indefinite whereas gasoline varnishes and deteriorates. Plastics can be made from it.

So why aren't we using ethanol instead of oil? Big oil lobby, propaganda, and your laziness. If you don't vote out your oil lobby funded congress person, you are the problem.

Yes, oil breaks down over time, and some plants will grow despite a lot of oil. You can eat those. I'll spread the ethanol distiller's left overs as fertilizer on farm land, which stunts weeds, reducing the need for herbacides, and have a nice edible crop, or make more fuel, thank you very much.

While doing your homework, figure the true cost of a gallon of petrol; the non subsidized cost hidden in your taxes. Cost of military engagements, cost of injured veterans needs over a life time, cost of military supplies, contractors, etc. Cost of environmental damage. Cost of clean up which the consumer ends up paying. Cost of loss of life to the military AND to petrol industry workers.

What happens if a terrorist takes out a refinery or two? Price spikes. A nuclear plant? Could be devastating. What happens if they take out several ethanol distillers? Not much. Just make up the difference from other communities. That is energy security and independence.

Price manipulation. An ethanol cartel would be extremely difficult when anyone can make it. The big boys simply cannot control it and that is exactly why they put out all the propaganda against it. Wake up and smell the 190 proof. Oh yes, ethanol is high octane so engines designed for it can get as good mileage as gasoline. Lower temp burn = less wasted heat, no carbon residue so less engine wear. Henry Ford stated it was the perfect automotive fuel and for good reason.

Robert Litlle
6 years ago

The oil giants buy politicians in every country, have laws changed in their favour, leave an environmental mess for the public to pay for, and pretend they did Nothing Wrong. Shale gas 'fracking' is the next assault on the environment and people, with special loopholes in environmental rules that permit it to occur legally.
Check you pension plan - you may be supporting this behaviour, you may be a shareholder. No-one is innocent but only action will change this.

6 years ago

Oil is a natural occurring substance that comes to the surface naturally all over the world. How do you think oil was discovered in the first place. They dug for it? No it was lying on the ground bubbling up from underground. Yeah its disgusting the practices companies do decades ago but it's not the end of the World. All Oil biodegrades over time.

wendy wilson
6 years ago

I feel so ashamed not to know what is the real cost to drive a car or have that shiny bobble on my Christmas tree .. when I think of the real cost to the environment by using fossil fuels .. this new year it is time to reconsider what we spend our money on and where it came from .. we need the rain forest more than ever ..we have been horrible to the people in other countries around the world so we can have stuff ..

6 years ago

Dig the work you do Abby but your voice is so annoying. You often sound so condescending.

Leigh Atkins
6 years ago

Rich Powerful Oil Company providing USA with oil VS anyone else = dead anyone else

6 years ago

Thas just aint thruth , CT is most jenerous employer in Western world ....

Last viewer
7 years ago

Vote or else change the US in a democratic country.
In a few word, regulate by laws the amount of fund a political party can use to prepare for election.
- The problem : - The republic of the the USA is no democratic country ; at all.

Just sit on it, they'll fall.
After they're done aggressing everyone around, they'll kill each other.
Just stay away from them.

7 years ago

Contaminate your own country, not others. Big oil companies think they are above all sense of decency and do whatever they like. They can also buy any politicians who will fight for their cause. What else can we do??

LeeJai Cook
7 years ago

I firmly believe that the "high and mighty" officers of such corrupt corporations as Chevron, Texaco, etc. will be "brought low" by Elijah, our forthcoming World Ruler. How he will do this I do not know. When Elijah will appear on earth as an adult male I do not know. Elijah will have vast powers. Even now he monitors the words, actions, and thoughts of every person on earth. He also sees and hears all events worldwide as they occur on the planet.