Amazon Watch, Public Citizen
24 May 2013 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Karen Hinton at +1.703.798.3109
Press briefing; Interviews available onsite
Oakland, CA – Chevron shareholders and a coalition of activist groups will hold a press briefing on Tuesday, May 28, the day before the annual Chevron shareholder meeting, to demand that the company refrain from all election-related spending. Groups will also protest Chevron's inaction on the growing threat of climate change and environmental violations. Amazon Watch will be calling on the company to fire CEO John Watson for his failure to address human rights abuses.
On the following morning, May 29, the coalition will convene inside and outside of Chevron corporate headquarters during the Annual General Shareholder meeting. (Details are below.)
|WHEN:||10 a.m. PDT, Tuesday, May 28|
|WHERE:||Amazon Watch offices, 2201 Broadway St., Ste. 508, Oakland, CA|
|CALL-IN NUMBER:||(805) 399-1000; Access Code: 298201#|
|SPEAKERS:||Gayle McLaughlin, mayor of Richmond, CA
Servio Curipoma, community representative of Ecuadorian Amazon
Shoshana Wechsler, Public Citizen
Sven Eberlein, founder, Bike the Math
Dr. Henry Clark, executive director, West County Toxics Coalition
Concerns of the coalition include:
- Chevron, through a subsidiary, made a historically large and possibly illegal $2.5 million contribution to the conservative super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund during the 2012 election. Green Century Capital Management has filed a shareholder resolution asking Chevron to refrain from all election-related spending over concerns about the risks of Chevron's unchecked involvement in the electoral process.
- Public Citizen filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that if Chevron's subsidiary holds government contracts, its super PAC contribution may have violated the federal pay-to-play law.
- The company inherited a lawsuit from Texaco, which it acquired in 2001, challenging the dumping of billions of gallons of toxic wastewaters into the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest between 1964 and 1990, and alleging gross negligence that resulted in immense suffering for more than 30,000 people. Rather than pay for cleanup and compensate victims, CEO Watson has overseen an aggressive legal strategy of deflection. The lawsuit resulted in a $19 billion judgment against Chevron, but Chevron continues to challenge the verdict and evade justice.
- The company has a sordid environmental record, including its record of spills and explosions, such as at the Richmond refinery, as well as an unwillingness to address climate change by shifting operations toward renewable sources of energy.
Chevron's expansion in the political arena with its subsidiary's super PAC contribution, the largest ever given by a publicly traded company, signals a new level of corporate interference with elections. Unleashed by Citizens United, unchecked spending by corporations in our elections not only drowns out the voices of average Americans, but also contributes to governmental inaction on climate change and lack of accountability for corporate negligence.
PROTEST: 8-11 a.m. PDT, Wednesday, May 29
Chevron Headquarters, 6001 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA
The coalition will take its message to Chevron's annual shareholder meeting to make clear that those paying the price for Chevron's profits will no longer tolerate or subsidize its bad corporate citizenship and negligent, risky and dangerous operations.
Representatives from the groups will also enter the meeting to deliver thousands of pink slips to John Watson as well as a petition with more than 20,000 signatures telling Chevron to refrain from election spending.