Essay on The Adverse Flaws of Chevron Corporation

(Part 2)


Burridge goes on to say, ‘Chevron has effectively blocked the use of NiMH batteries by start-up EV manufacturers and has the ability to keep doing so until 2014 when the patents expire’ (Burridge). In 1997, Toyota sold an electric vehicle called the RAV4 which used the NiMH battery. The International Court of Arbitration forced Toyota to shut down the RAV4 and settle a suit of $30,000,000 with Chevron after continuing the sale of the RAV4 after the patent had already been sold to Chevron. Field tests proved that the NiMH battery could prolong the life of the electric car from 150 miles a charge to over 375 miles a charge. The U.S. Federal Government was even forced to shut down their Zero Emissions Vehicle requirements in California due to the lack of available battery’s to be put in cars. Chevron acquired the capability to reduce emissions in America, prolong the life of hybrid cars, and potentially bring global warming to an extreme halt. Instead they chose to keep the patent to their selves in order to make greater profits from larger OEM orders. This is just the beginning of Chevron terror on our planet.

On August 6, 2012, a corroded pipe gave away on Chevron’s refinery in Richmond California. According to, ‘The city was engulfed in choking black smoke and potentially dangerous sulfuric acid and nitrogen dioxide fumes that sent 15,000 people to the hospital (Broder). Chevron received a $963,200 fine along with 25 different citations by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. The Lawsuit that came from the fire also stated that the pipe burst was completely avoidable, and that Chevron was notified internally of the dangerous conditions. It was reported that they knew of the possibility of the fire for over 10 years as well. Chevron, once again, had the money to prevent the fire and address the issue directly, but instead, Chevron decided to spend money on executive salaries. In 2011 alone, Chevron spent $52,8 million to their top three executives. The company continued on by spending over $10 million to political campaigns that would decrease regulation requirements for large corporations such as Chevron. Chevron’s actions do all the talking necessary to establish that Chevron is an unethical corporation. Chevron profited from ignoring the pipeline’s unreliable infrastructure, and had no consideration for the safety and wellbeing of their workers or the people of Richmond, California.

According to Michael Kunzelman, ‘Government experts estimate 4.2 million barrels, or 176 million gallons, spilled into the Gulf by BP in their 87 day crises’ (Kunzelman). Chevron began operations in Ecuador’s rainforest in 1964, all the way through 1990, nearly three decades, and were continuously drilling and pumping for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Over this time span, Chevron had dumped nearly 18 Billion, with a capital B, gallons of toxic waste into what were pristine rainforest lands that were home to five different indigenous groups (Koeing). Koeing goes on to say that the rainforest, ‘became a wasteland of superfund-worthy waste pits, gas flares, hundreds of miles of oil-covered roads and zigzagging pipelines, and flow lines that dumped toxins directly into streams and rivers that local communities used to drink, bathe, fish, and wash their clothes’ (Koeing). In 1993, nearly 30,000 people brought a claim against Chevron to New York under the Alien Tort Claim Act of 1789 allowing people from other country’s to file claims against large corporations of America. The claim stated that, Chevron ‘developed an oil production system for its operations in Ecuador intentionally designed to pollute. Chevron calculated that, by using out-of-date technology and deliberately violating industry standards, it could save a couple of dollars per barrel’ (Koeing). Chevron put the people of Ecuador’s livelihood at risk for the benefits of their selves. After 10 years and nearly 10,000 soil samples, Chevron was found guilty and forced to pay $19 billion in damages. The catch is that Chevron had an escape route the whole time.
The case was transferred back to Ecuador and Chevron knew that if any type of fraud were to occur the case would be dismissed. Chevron planed a ‘sting’, as Koeing describes it, where a former Chevron employee would attempt to bribe the judge, and that he did (Koeing). They also worked with Ecuadorian Militia to create false reports and delay crucial sampling along with taking illogical samples from up-stream from the plant where there would be no major contamination (Koeing). Chevron also set it up so that the samples would be conveniently tested at independent laboratory owned and operated by the wife of a Chevron employee (Koeing). The case is currently ongoing and waiting for a final verdict. Chevron knew from the get go that they would be able to get off clean and without a legal obligation to fix the disaster they created and prove yet again, why they were ranked number 3 as the most unethical company on our planet (Kiser). The aims continue on and on.

Chevron had been drilling in Nigeria since 1962. In May of 1999, approximately 200 protestors of the Ilaje group occupied Chevrons Parabe drilling platform under a peaceful protest. Tamara says that, ‘They wanted the company to take responsibility for environmental degradation and contribute more to their impoverished communities. Chevron has been active in this oil-rich Niger Delta area for 36 years’ (Herman). The protesting began on the 25th of May where activist were told to wait while Chevron would make decisions on what to do about their demands. On the 28th of May, Tamara says, ‘ military helicopters landed and the Mobile Police and Navy opened fire, killing Ogungbeje and Irowaninu and injuring 30’ (Herman). Chevron says they were forced to co-operate with the nations government decisions under military rule. Further investigation proves that when asked who took the militia to the barge, as Herman says, ‘spokesperson Sola Omole replied, СWe did. Chevron did. We took them there… [by] helicopter.”(Herman). Sola Omole also said that Chevron had authorized the call of the militia. Herman also says, ‘The activists maintain that prior to the occupation neither the Nigerian government nor Chevron had considered the demands from the poverty-stricken communities (Herman). It does not state in the article that Chevron was using outdated equipment to save money and produce more pollution, but one can assume that if during this same time era of the Ecuador crimes, they were.

The Center of Constitutional Rights, which is a law firm out of New York, stated that they would peruse filing a lawsuit against Chevron in relation to this incident (Herman). The residents of the Ilaje community, in results to revenue generated by Chevron, say that they have, ‘impoverished communities that lack electricity, potable water, schools and health facilities. They also say Chevron activities have decimated fishing; gas flarings have burnt trees; farm-land has degenerated and the construction of coastal canals has reduced fresh water supplies’ (Herman). Chevron has a blatant disregard for the livelihood of these people and focus on only one thing, austerity, or the creation of wealth. Fortunately for our planet, and for mankind, there are corporations that flourish in human development and focus on more important matters than a Millian philosophy of only perusing self-satisfaction.
Whirlpool Corporation was named to the ‘Worlds Most Ethical Companies’ and ‘Most Respectable U.S. Companies List’ (LexisNexis). Whirlpool underwent extensive research regarding their code of ethics, infraction history, sustainable business practices, their senior executive’s interviewed, and assessed consumer feedback and ratings. Whirlpool’s code of ethics was ranked 18th amongst 20 of the top company’s in American according to Lexis Nexis and their article on The Ethisphere Institute (LexisNexis). Whirlpool has the interest of the environment in mind, by providing showers at their facilities to encourage their employees to ride their bicycle to work. This will decrease vehicle emissions given off. Whirlpool is also currently pushing for new facilities that could be more efficient in reducing pollution (Whirlpool). They also have an annual income exceeding $19 billion (LexisNexis). Whirlpool demonstrates that they are doing everything in their power to make sustainability the key component in their practices. This is the type of corporation that strives for greatness, and Chevron should take notes to learn from Whirlpool.

Chevron has demonstrated, in more ways than one, that they have no regard for others, but rather for their own personal satisfaction. They have single handedly destroyed thousands of lives and continue to do so every day. Of the three responsibilities that Pojasek pointed out previously, Environmental, Economic, and Social, Chevron has managed to disobey each one besides Economics fifth capital, financial capital. Even with this financial capital in mind, Chevron still disregards their stakeholder interest in environmental issues according to Chevrons Corporate Responsibility report (Tippen). Chevron is by no means considered an ethical corporation. They should either be disbanded or forced to obtain new CEO’s, reconstruct their means of production immediately with triumphant and exaggerated change.