Chevron decries court refusal to block Ecuador fine
Oil giant Chevron said it was disappointed by the US Supreme Court's decision not to block an $18 billion fine sought by Ecuador for environmental damage in the Amazon.
"While Chevron is disappointed that the court denied our petition, we will continue to defend against the plaintiffs' lawyers' attempts to enforce the fraudulent Ecuadorean judgment," the company said in an email statement.
Chevron appealed to the highest US court an Ecuadoran court order to pay $18.2 billion, which was raised to some $19 billion in August.
The complaint stems from years of unchecked pollution in the Amazon attributed to Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001.
Chevron has called the court order a "product of bribery, fraud," saying it was "illegitimate" and not enforceable after plaintiffs filed lawsuits in Canada and Brazil to go after the company's assets in third countries.
Plaintiffs say Chevron has virtually no assets in Ecuador that could be seized.
The US oil firm Texaco contaminated large areas of Ecuador's Amazon jungle when it operated in the region from 1964 to 1990, a decade before being acquired by Chevron, according to indigenous groups and local farmers.
After years of litigation, an Ecuadoran court in February 2011 ordered Chevron to pay $18 billion in damages, a ruling upheld by Ecuador's Supreme Court.
Chevron has accused the Ecuadoran judge who ruled on the case of fraud and breach of trust.
(c) 2012 AFP