Thursday, May 28, 2009

They drill and they kill

Chevron, Shell and the True Cost of Oil by Amy Goodman, via

Remember, over on the Page 2 link, there's an RSS feed showing the last five stories from Democracy Now!

The economy is a shambles, unemployment is soaring, the auto industry is collapsing. But profits are higher than ever at oil companies Chevron and Shell. Yet across the globe, from the Ecuadorian jungle, to the Niger Delta in Nigeria, to the courtrooms and streets of New York and San Ramon, Calif., people are fighting back against the world’s oil giants.

Shell and Chevron are in the spotlight this week, with shareholder meetings and a historic trial being held.

and this ...
I interviewed Saro-Wiwa in 1994. He told me: “The oil companies like military dictatorships, because basically they can cheat with these dictatorships. The dictatorships are brutal to people, and they can deny the human rights of individuals and of communities quite easily, without compunction.” He added, “I am a marked man.” Saro-Wiwa returned to Nigeria and was arrested by the military junta. On Nov. 10, 1995, after a kangaroo show trial, Saro-Wiwa was hanged with eight other Ogoni activists.

In 1998, I traveled to the Niger Delta with journalist Jeremy Scahill. A Chevron executive there told us that Chevron flew troops from Nigeria’s notorious mobile police, the “kill ‘n’ go,” in a Chevron company helicopter to an oil barge that had been occupied by nonviolent protesters. Two protesters were killed, and many more were arrested and tortured.

Oronto Douglas, one of Saro-Wiwa’s lawyers, told us: “It is very clear that Chevron, just like Shell, uses the military to protect its oil activities. They drill and they kill.”

'They drill and they kill.' Those words put a chilly touch on those chants of "Drill Baby Drill" that the rightwingers were putting out last fall.

Some environmental groups have put out an 'alternative annual report' about Chevron in time for the corporations shareholders meeting. It can be found at

PS ... that report is really worth reading. Its large, so I haven't read it all. Out of curiosity, I jumped to the section on Chevron in Iraq. Lots of interesting history there. Its a nice summary of Chevron's activities in Iraq dating back to before Saddam. Full of little details I don't think I ever knew. And some real nuggets like this ...

If and when U.S. oil companies get to work in Iraq they will require protection—most likely that of the U.S. military. A confidential intelligence report on the Iraq Oil Law prepared for U.S. officials and leaked to ABC News concluded that if “major foreign oil companies“ were going to go to work in Iraq, they would need to be “heavily underwritten by the U.S. government.”245

Gee, its such a surprise that we won't give up our bases in Iraq, now isn't it?


Anonymous said...

Another sad news. It looks like CD has banned Thomas More who was a mixed kid IMHO and yet they have the nerve to keep Obamabots such as "Nebraska Nathan1" ! Yesterday there was a discussion on the ban and today CD deleted all comments and followup replies related to it ! While most of us had plenty to disagree with Thomas More on, at least he knew where to draw the line and quit being an Obamabot !

Samson said...

Good to see you over here again. :) At least I won't be banning you. Not that I get many comments, but I can safely say I've never banned anyone from this site!

To me, its the banning of the discussion about banning that seems really wrong. At some point, that becomes false advertising about what's going on with the site. IE, someone who finds the site for the first time would see the stories and all the Obama-bot comments and not know that many other voices who might express other opinions have been silenced.

Me, I almost never go to the site anymore. Every once in awhile, a link or a web search leads me over there. But its not a site I visit regularly anymore. Can't really say I miss it.

Just as a check, it doesn't look like this Amy Goodman article made it to CD. Which means of course, no discussion about how Obama's national security adviser, Gen. Jones, is tied to Chevron and their drill and kill policies, just like Bush's administration was always tied to Chevron through Condi Rice. I suppose that's a topic that 'good Democrats' can't discuss in polite company.

The last line in the quote from the article keeps ringing in my head. "They drill and they kill". And the US government helps, no matter if its Dems or Repubs in the White House.

Anonymous said...

Hi Samson,

I always wondered what happened to most of the bravehearts on CD. There don't seem to be many any more although RichM finally came back and Fred, I saw you too storming back. Last month, I actually didn't mind reading a lot of the comments there. One person who struck me though was JenniferBedingfield. She never gave up proudly showing herself as a strong Nader voter and even talked about how his lifelong courage influenced her life. God, I wished I could meet her and give her a hug. It was a sad day on May 21, 2008 when one of her friends reported that she was in the hospital. Her rock solid support of Nader is why I'm surprised CD hasn't banned her. Another woman who stood out was Sioux Rose who misses you Samson. You should talk to Sioux Rose when you get a chance. Her website is and she gives her contact info. She would love to hear from you. Fred, that "Nebraska Nathan1" fuck has been harassing Jenniferbedingfield and now Sioux Rose probably because he's afraid of fierce independent women such as them. We need to get more people away from CD and onto more of these independent blogs and give CD any more. Let that corporate site fail.

Anonymous said...

About the article, even when we're not in war, that the crude oil prices are going back up is already telling us that peak oil isn't far off. All this "drill baby drill" and wars for oil are nothing but sheer signs of desperation to cover up the fact that Peak Oil is in full force.

Samson said...

I'm a real believer in Peak Oil. I don't know if we are at the peak now, or 10 years from now. But it seems obvious there will be a peak.

We keep using more and more oil. Unless there's a magic oil machine in the center of the earth, then someday, we gonna run out.

Draw a straight line across a page. That's supply. Draw a increasing curve line from the bottom that goes up faster and faster as it goes on. That's demand. The demand curve is certain to blow past the flat line of a fixed supply. The only question is when.

Thanks for the hint about SiouxRose. I'll have to go look that up. I always liked her writing.