Photo: Rainforest Action Network At least for now, Chevron doesn’t owe Ecuadoran villagers $18 billion for completely ruining their jungle with oil, a U.S. district court judge has ruled. That’s a reversal of a decision made last month by a court in Ecuador — but Judge Lewis Kaplan figures he has just as much say in Ecuador’s business as Ecuador does.
To bolster his complex claim that he has jurisdiction over this case, Kaplan cites a past case in which Ringo Starr, of all people, was held accountable in a U.S. court. Ringo lost that case and wound up owing $1.6 million. Chevron could lose on appeal too. Just in case the Ecuadorans win a verdict in the end, Kaplan is requiring that Chevron post a $21.8 million bond, which is six months’ interest on the original $18 billion judgement. The oil giant made $3.77 billion last quarter, so the bond means it is getting dinged about one one-thousandth of its annual income. Sorry, folks at Chevron HQ, no more Green Mountain Coffee in the break room!
“Energy shouldn’t cost lives,” Rainforest Action Network