Urg. KQED did a show on the Chevron vs. Trial Lawyers on Behalf of Theoretical Rainforest Inhabitants in Ecuador. Listen to it if you have a taste for shallow thinking and BS. I apologize on behalf of Northern California for this steaming turd of tree-hugging Berkeley liberal propaganda. I also apologize for central California for prop 8, and also for Sacramento for being incompetent, but that's a different post. If you want to hear Chevron's side of the argument, and they get brownie points for being able to provide actual evidence for their arguments, go here.
Anyway, time for another scathing letter to KQED, this time hopefully giving Krasny a damn good spanking for being such a drooling yes-man to a troupe of goons with an obvious agenda. He probably won't read this masterwork...but you can.
I was deeply disappointed in your reporting on "Chevron Protests," May 28, 2009. Although your website states that Chevron itself was unable to provide a representative to argue the company's case, I feel your show has a duty to present both sides of an argument that has two valid points of view. Both of your guests were very anti-Chevron and anti-oil, and both of your guests had an agenda which coloured their analysis of the events surrounding the lawsuit between Chevron and Ecuador. It was not made clear to the listener that Chevron never directly operated the field in question, Texaco operated it for a short period of time in conjunction with Petroecuador, the national oil company of Ecuador. Both of your guests made painted this lawsuit as a David vs. Goliath battle between the poor oppressed natives and the evil multinational corporation, and Mr. Krasny made no effort to refute this or to indicate that this may not be a simple, black and white issue. No mention was made of the fact that Petroecuador has operated the field in question since 1992. No mention was made of the fact that almost all profits from the operation there went to Ecuador.
I have a relative who works as a mid-level manager for a large oil company and has worked in places where the state govenment is both corrupt and impotent. In these countries, companies like Chevron often have to broker deals with the local warlords and landowners (some of whom are opposing each other) in order to drill or mine. These deals often involve building roads, schools, and hospitals as well as giving the local officials large cuts of any profits made. These deals can go south, often when the local warlords reneg on their contracts. My relative has coworkers who have been killed or directly threatened when gangs of thugs lay seige to the office and plant with automatic weapons. To always paint the multinational as evil and oppressive, and the local regimes as being used and manipulated is both factually wrong and a disservice to your listeners. It is entirely possible that these local officials perceive an easier time and a bigger dollar in suing Chevron to clean up Petroecuador's mess than in trying to get their own government to pay for it.
In conclusion, Chevron is not evil or corrupt. Chevron is a corporation that exists, like all corporations do, to make money. It is owned and operated by average people with families and kids to send to college and food to put on the table. It is simply not cost effective or profitable for Chevron to polute the rain forrest. It puts them at risks for multi-billion dollar lawsuits and it inhibits diplomacy for future exploration within the area. The people who stand to gain from this lawsuit are corrupt local officials and trial lawyers. This was not refuted with evidence from your interviewees.
In short, this program was the far left equivalent of hosting a show on the ethics of torture with special guests Dick Cheney and John Yoo, and with everything boiled down to black and white heroes and villains. This is a pretty lowbrow view for KQED to espouse, I think.
And, oh yeah. I'm not continuing my subscription or giving you clowns any more money. Ever. Thought that might be a bit of a cliche ending for the letter, though.