Texaco Press Release - Texaco Responds to Allegations by Attorneys
FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1999.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., SEPTEMBER 23 - Attorneys representing Ecuadorian plaintiffs in the Aguinda v. Texaco case used an outrageous publicity stunt today to draw attention to unsubstantiated allegations leveled against the company. In an advertising campaign launched by these attorneys, baseless claims of racial discrimination were made. Texaco is unwavering in its commitment to equality, tolerance and protection of the environment and the communities in which we operate. To allege that race was a factor in our operations is wrong and it is disgraceful. In the six-year history of this litigation, the plaintiffs have never asserted claims of racial discrimination. We find this desperate effort to gain media attention deeply offensive. We are strongly committed to protecting the environment and the health and safety of all members of the communities in which we operate. Every employee, customer, neighbor and partner is equally important to us. The facts in this case remained unchanged:
- During its period of operations as a minority partner in a consortium with the Ecuadorian state oil company, Texaco Petroleum operated in full compliance with all Ecuadorian laws and utilized prevailing internationally accepted standards and practices.
- Texaco has not operated the oil fields in the former consortium area for nearly a decade.
- In 1995, Texaco undertook a $40 million program to remediate more than 250 sites to ensure there would be no lasting environmental impact. This program, which was completed in 1998, was conducted with the full approval and certification of the Ecuadorian government.
- We have seen no credible scientific evidence to support the allegations made in the lawsuit.
The matter currently before the Federal Court focuses on a single issue: Whether this case should be heard in Ecuador or the United States. Texaco's position is clear:
- The plaintiffs are in Ecuador.
- The operations were in Ecuador.
- The state oil company - with which Texaco was a minority partner, and which continues to operate the oil fields today - is in Ecuador.
- The evidence is in Ecuador.
- The remedies sought by plaintiffs can only be obtained in Ecuador.
Contrary to statements by the plaintiffs' attorneys, three U.S. Courts have entered judgements in support of Texaco's position on this matter.
Published: September 1999