College Essay Examples


Sample By My Essay Writer
The documentary, “Crude” depicts the early parts of the litigation between Ecuadoran citizens and Chevron for the purpose of seeking redress for environmental damage.


The focus of the portrayal centers on the parts of the two entities who are principally at war in the documentary and beyond. On one side are the lawyers for the plaintiffs, one from New York City, the other a native-born Ecuadoran attorney. On the other side, “Big Oil” incarnate; Chevron Oil who finds itself in the crosshairs of this legal battle after having acquired the alleged perpetrator, Texaco (Crude, 2009).

To answer the question as to whether the defense put forth by Chevron holds water, one first must view the entirety of the case objectively and with a wide gaze. The plaintiffs assert that the land near the waters affected by Texaco oil extraction are wastelands compared to the pristine landscape they represented previously. The way of life for a people who had never previously bothered to venture beyond the reaches of their immediate surroundings are now made to suffer through the effects of degradation they claim befell the area at the hands of Texaco oil men (Crude, 2009).

Chevron rebuts the claims that the entity formerly known as Texaco is responsible for the damages and raises charges of their own in the process. Part 1 of the counter charge by Chevron addresses the motivation behind the suit. Chevron attorneys have repeatedly advanced that irrelevant interests are primarily to benefit should Chevron reach a monetary settlement or receive judgement in their favor in court. These other interests include the attorneys representing the class-action plaintiff roster (Crude, 2009).

A second claim leveled in return from Chevron takes direct aim at the Ecuadoran national oil company that commenced in extracting oil from the region after Texaco had ceased operations. While the plaintiffs maintain that the preponderance of responsibility should rest at the foot of Texaco (and, of course, by extension Chevron) there is no way to ascertain which oil operation or which oil supplier is responsible for the toxicity — if true —afflicting the region.

One curious aspect to the case that had gone on for over 1`3 years at the time “Crude” was filmed and released, is the lack of accountability being asked of the Ecuadorean government who might at the very least share responsibility for the aftermath of drilling. Instead, the focus is placed squarely in he direction of Chevron.

One might ask, why they strict focus? One answer involves finances. Chevron is a much richer target than is the Ecuadoran government. A multinational oil company possesses assets that even compared to a country are vast and settlement is more likely. This brings to the fore that the case originally started in The United States. The only reason the venue for the case was moved to Ecuador, where one might argue is the place from which this case was to be tried from the first place, is that Chevron attorneys were successful in having the process relocated.

Another aspect of the case against Chevron that is rife with inconsistent logic is the fact that contamination has vaguely been proven and has never been tied to one group over another. While the accounts of those suffering from toxins in the region’s drinking water supply and elsewhere, there has yet to be a reason to suggest that the toxicity was perpetrated by Texaco.                        What is proven is that the region is devoid of basic sanitary infrastructure that would reduce the likelihood of native citizens falling victim to disease. The skin rashes that are featured in the film have not been linked directly to petroleum or any of the byproducts of Texaco’s involvement with the region. The way the plaintiffs could prove Texaco’s culpability in this case or any other where disparate entities performed similar operations at different times, is:

1.      Show causality between the operation and the effects that are allegedly the result.
2.      Provide evidence that singles out Texaco’s operation from the subsequent operations by PetroEcuador and others.
3.      Show evidence that discounts the general risk to human life conditions that exist in Ecuador to isolate the cause of the disease.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys are passionate and may very well have the interests of the 30,000 petitioners for redress at heart, but the facts of the matter don’t support such a pointed focus of blame. If there was to be stipulation that:

A.     The illnesses and other maladies visited upon the indigenous population are the product of outside toxins being introduced to the area.
B.     Those illnesses have increased in number or rate since Texaco began operating in Ecuador.
C.      Texaco’s record of quality as it relates to drilling, extracting, shipping for refining, and management of waste product was below standards established by Ecuadoran law, the World Health Organization standards, or the standards of any other accredited third-party health and/or environment institution.
D.     The level of toxicity in the region is not the fault of the oil drilling that took place after Texaco left the region.

Absent proof of all of the contents of this list, the plaintiffs, unfortunately, have no legal grounds for holding Texaco responsible for the conditions of Ecuador today.

Avatar photo

By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts