This video is called Torture of Kenyans In Saudi Arabia.
From The Nation in the USA:
Lee Fang on November 29, 2012 – 5:10 PM ET
The “American” in American Petroleum Institute, the country’s largest oil lobby group, is a misnomer. As I reported for The Nation in August, the group has changed over the years, and is now led by men like Tofiq Al-Gabsani, a Saudi Arabian national who heads a Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) subsidiary, the state-run oil company that also helps finance the American Petroleum Institute. Al-Gabsani is also a registered foreign agent for the Saudi government.
New disclosures retrieved today, showing some of API’s spending over the course of last year, reveal that API used its membership dues (from the world’s largest oil companies like Chevron and Aramco) to finance several dark money groups airing attack ads in the most recent election cycle.
Last year, API gave nearly half a million to the following dark money groups running political ads against Democrats and in support of Republicans:
• $50,000 to Americans for Prosperity’s 501(c)(4) group, which ran ads against President Obama and congressional Democrats.
• $412,969 to Coalition for American Jobs’ 501(c)(6) group, a front set up by API lobbyists to air ads for industry-friendly politicians, including former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA).
• $25,000 to the Sixty Plus Association’s 501(c)(4), which ran ads against congressional Democrats.
Jack Gerard, the president of API, was a close ally to the Mitt Romney campaign. Like the US Chamber of Commerce, API is one of several large trade associations that has spent heavily in support of Republican candidates.
The disclosures also show that in 2011, API spent over $68 million for public relations/advertising with the firm Edelman, $5.4 million on “coalition building” with the firm Advocates Inc, and $4 million with DDC Advocacy for “advocacy.” DDC is the firm led by Sara Fagen, the former Bush White House aide ensnared in the DOJ purges scandal. DDC now works with corporations to help them communicate with workers on how to vote.
API’s Saudi leadership is perhaps one of the most salient examples of how the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has opened the door to foreign influence.
For many years, trade associations like API courted foreign businesses to forge industry-wide lobbying coalitions. But because of a court decision in 1990 (Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce), trade associations could participate in elections only by spinning off regulated political action committees, subject to strict disclosure and contribution limits. The foreign leadership of trade associations had a clear firewall against interfering in American elections.
Justice John Roberts and the conservative court changed that. The court’s decisions in 2007 (in a case called Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC) and 2010 (Citizens United v. FEC) to deregulate soft money allowed trade associations to behave akin to campaign committees, funneling corporate cash to attack ad and electioneering efforts—except without the disclosure requirements. That cleared the way for a substantial loophole. A foreign national cannot administer a Super PAC or candidate committee, but they can run a trade association like API that can now run candidate ads or finance third party campaign efforts. The foreign corporate money given to a trade association, from a Saudi oil firm or a French chemical company, for example, can now find its way into an attack ad. The lobbyists and companies, and perhaps many of the politicians, know where the money for the ads is coming from—but the American people have no clue.
Editorial intern Nicholas Myers assisted with the research for this post.
For more on API’s cash game, check out Lee Fang’s August report.
- Don’t Worry About Super PACs – Worry About Big Business (prosebeforehos.com)
- Saudi Arabian king ‘clinically dead’ (tribune.com.ng)
- Discounted Saudi Crude Shaped Refiners’ Political Contributions, Paper Finds (blogs.wsj.com)
- How British companies pour cash into the American elections (guardian.co.uk)
- saudi spending on US election ads (niqnaq.wordpress.com)
- CIA, Qatari, Saudi Conspiracy To Violate United Nations Mandates and International Treaties (therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com)
- Activists: Saudi forces detain protesters (edition.cnn.com)
This video says about itself:
Original high resolution files for download are available via:
From Platform London in Britain:
Oil companies gave cash and contracts to militants and warlords in Nigeria.
Aug 26, 2012 • 10:04 pm • by ben
Shell and Chevron have funded armed militant groups in the volatile Niger Delta region of Nigeria since at least 2003, according to oil-industry sources and US embassy cables. Both oil companies have also paid ‘protection’ money to other hostile groups for decades.
Platform’s new briefing, as reported in today’s Daily Mail, is called Fuelling the Violence: Oil Companies and Armed Militancy in Nigeria. It details how oil company payments have had a serious impact on human rights and stability in the region, where an estimated 1,000 people died annually in the conflict.
The revelations follow Platform’s 2011 report, Counting the Cost, which showed how Shell’s reliance on government forces in Nigeria and its routine payments to armed militant groups had exacerbated specific cases of human rights abuse. It builds on Platform’s 2012 briefing, Dirty Work, which exposed the vast scale of Shell’s security spending and its devastating impact on human rights.
Key findings include:
A Shell manager admits giving ‘special surveillance’ contracts to militant groups in 2011, in an attempt to incorporate them into the company security arrangements. These contracts have effectively rewarded violence.
Chevron developed a close working relationship with Government Tompolo, commander of MEND, one of the main militant groups in the Delta. Chevron rented houseboats from Tompolo’s company, and routinely made calls and sent text messages to Tompolo’s army of MEND militants.
Shell and Chevron have provided funding for militant groups in the Delta. Both companies reportedly paid $300 per month to individual armed militants in Warri in 2003, enough to provide weapons and supplies for several weeks. An estimated 500 people were subsequently killed in the Warri conflict.
UK government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act suggest that despite repeated promises, Shell continued making harmful payments to pacify armed groups. In 2004, Shell inadvertently informed the Foreign Office that it had made very little progress in implementing its policies on “no cash payments” and “no ghost workers”.
These corporate practices have fuelled conflict and had a devastating impact on human rights. Leaked Shell data suggests that in 2009 alone, the company spent $75 million on ‘Other’ unexplained security expenditures – a vast infusion of cash into the Delta conflict. According to independent analysts, the distribution of cash and contracts by oil companies has contributed to “the killing and displacement of thousands of local people” in communal and ethnic conflicts.
Chevron fined $17.5 million over oil spill in Brazil: here.
Nigeria’s agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it: here.
- Shell pollution in Nigeria, petition (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- STEADY POWER SUPPLY: Nigerians to wait longer – Investigation (vanguardngr.com)
- People Power vs Big Oil (point4counterpoint.wordpress.com)
- Jonathan repudiates 2015 campaign posters (newsray.wordpress.com)
- Shell to face litigation over oil spills in Nigeria – Amnesty In’tl (vanguardngr.com)
This video from the USA is called Chevron Oil Refinery Fire, in Richmond, California.
From the Sierra Club in the USA:
August 7, 2012
Sierra Club Statement on Chevron Refinery Fire
Sierra Club Director, Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships Director Leslie Fields Released the Following Statement in Response:
“Yesterday residents of four California cities—Richmond, North Richmond, San Pablo and El Cerrito—were told by emergency officials to shelter-in-place, close doors and seal windows to avoid toxic smoke from the massive Chevron refinery fire. Fortunately, there were only minor injuries at the site. However, area hospitals reported at least 350 visits for respiratory problems and vomiting.
“No one should have to live downwind of a dangerous oil refinery. Our thoughts are with the families living near the Chevron facility who must now contend with the aftermath and long-term health consequences of breathing in smoke filled with dangerous particulate matter, soot and cancer-causing toxins like sulfur compounds. These explosions and the massive toxic cloud hanging over their community and homes are only a part of the pattern of operation at Chevron’s Richmond facility, and Chevron should be held to account.”
For the fourth time in the past 18 years, Chevron’s Richmond, California refinery has caught on fire, blanketing thousands of homes in toxic smoke: here.
Chevron faces heat over refinery blaze: here.
Chevron, the second largest oil and energy company in the United States, was fined $963,200 by Cal/OSHA (the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health) for state safety standard violations related to the August 6, 2012, fire at its Richmond, California, refinery: here.
Refinery fire highlights pollution concerns: here.
10 of the most dangerous chemical plants in the U.S.: here.
- Chevron fined nearly $1M for Calif. refinery fire (sacbee.com)
- $10 Million to Injured Workers from Chevron Payout (earthfirstnews.wordpress.com)
- Chevron Fined Nearly $1 Million For California Refinery Fire (huffingtonpost.com)
- State Fines Chevron $1 Million For Richmond Refinery Fire (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com)
- Chevron fire: State seeks nearly $1M fine (sfgate.com)
- Chevron Says It Has Paid $10M In Richmond Refinery Claims (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com)
- Exxon, Chevron Made $71 Billion Profit in 2012 As Consumers Paid Record Gas Prices (readersupportednews.org)
- Chevron Finally Punished For Massive Richmond Refinery Fire (huffingtonpost.com)
- Chevron profit up on asset exchange, refineries (miamiherald.com)
This video, recorded in New York City in the USA, says about itself:
This talk was filmed at an event on March 27th, 2011 at Bluestockings, called “Independent Media, Technology, and Self-Determination Struggles in Nigeria.” Emem Okon (bio follows) of Kebetkache, a women’s organization in the Niger Delta, speaks to the role of communications technology in struggles against political corruption and oil exploitation in Nigeria. She also discusses the participation of Niger Delta women in the Indymedia Convergence in Dakar, February 2011. Introduction by Nicole Hummel from Deep Dish TV.
Ms Emem J. Okon is the founder and Executive Director of Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre. She is a women’s rights activist and advocate from the oil impacted Niger Delta region of Nigeria. She is a trainer, researcher and campaigner against all forms of violence directed at women and the environment. She is currently undertaking a research into impact of militarism on women in the Niger Delta, a component of the Strengthening Women’s Activism against Conflict and Militarism in the West African sub-region. She has coordinated many networks and coalitions including Gender and Constitution Reform Network (GECORN) south-south zone; National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA) Rivers (2004-2010) among others.
By Antonia Juhasz, Ms. Magazine in the USA [with non-working links corrected by me, and links added, here; petrel41]:
Saturday, 09 June 2012 00:00
Last week, leaders of communities harmed by oil giant Chevron descended upon the company’s annual shareholder meeting in San Ramon, California to demand environmental justice and human rights. Participants from as far away as Angola, Ecuador, and Brazil joined with the True Cost of Chevron network (of which I am a part) and some 150 local protesters to decry Chevron’s abuses both around the globe and here in the U.S., from California to Texas to Washington, D.C.
One of the most prominent voices was Emem Okon, founder and executive director of Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre of Nigeria. A community organizer and women’s rights activist from the Niger Delta, Okon is leading a thriving Nigerian ecofeminist movement. She has coordinated several local women’s networks and coalitions, including Women Against Climate Change (WACC), International Network on Women and Environment, Niger Delta Women for Justice and Niger Delta Women’s Movement. I interviewed Okon shortly after the protests to learn how the women of the U.S. can emulate the women of Nigeria in standing up to one of the world’s most powerful–and dangerous–corporations.
Emem Okon: For well over 50 years, Chevron has been a dominant oil producer in Nigeria, both on land and offshore, generating riches that have flowed to Chevron. Chevron’s operations in the Niger Delta have economically marginalized local villagers while giving them virtually no control over their own livelihood, land or resources. The people and communities living nearest to the oil have become poorer and more dispirited, and are living shorter lives. I came to California to tell Chevron that it must listen to the women of the Niger Delta and change its operations.
How are women’s lives in the Delta impacted by Chevron and the oil industry?
Abusing the Niger Delta environment translates to abusing the women of the Delta. These women are predominantly farmers and fisher-folks. Their lives are built around the environment. Their farming includes planting and processing cassava, yam, plantain, banana, vegetables and other related produce, as well as processing palm fruits into palm oil and palm kernel. Women also get resources from the forest. Their lives and income are also intimately linked to the water, including the Atlantic ocean, the rivers, streams and creeks.
In the Niger Delta, the greatest damage to this environment is caused by the oil and gas industry. Through oil spills and gas flaring, exploration and exploitation activities have resulted in pollution of rivers, streams and creeks, making the water unsafe for aquatic life and leading to a loss of fishing income. Chevron spills oil into soil and farmlands, making them unfit for crops. Women, who are the majority of the informal [economic] sector, are negatively impacted as the oil halts their economic activities and increases their poverty.
There is also a social dimension to the impact of the extractive industry on women in the Niger Delta region. The oil politics have generated various forms of violent conflict in the Niger Delta, including communal clashes, youth armed gangsterism, chieftaincy tussle, political violence, militarism and militarization. These have subjected women to sexual violence, sexual slavery, rape and teenage pregnancy, as well as increasing child motherhood, sex work, HIV infection rates and trauma symptoms.
Gas flaring has also contributed to a high rate of maternal and child mortality [by causing] reproductive health issues such as infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths, cancers and respiratory problems.
In the Niger Delta, women do not sit idle while such damage is done. We stand up and take action. The landmark achievement in women’s organizing was the Occupation of Chevron Oil Tank Farm in Escravos, Warri South West Local Government by Ugborodo women in July 2002. They succeeded in stopping work for 11 days, until Chevron’s management finally agreed to meet their demands. In so doing, Ugborodo women achieved in 11 days what the men could not achieve in decades. Chevron came down to talk with the women, which opened up the space for chiefs, youth leaders and government representatives to engage in the negotiation process.
How can women in the United States support your work on behalf of women in the Niger Delta?
International solidarity is key to achieving environmental justice and women’s rights in the Niger. The True Cost of Chevron network has been critical. Our greatest ally is the California-based non-profit Justice In Nigeria Now (JINN), which has led campaigns in the U.S. and mobilized other advocacy groups to support the Niger Delta women. I call on our supporters worldwide to join JINN on their website or their Facebook page.
Shell is accused of complicity in torture and killings of Nigerian environmentalists in the Kiobel vs. Shell case, which the U.S. Supreme Court will re-hear in the fall: here.
This music video is called Contravene – 08. The Lies They Want Us To Swallow. The song lyrics are:
miles beneath the earth, another machine is drilling
producing the products of mass consumption, the one they feel is worth killing for
taking the live of the people, choking the life out of earth
organized death squads to silence the protests, to ensure their profits worth…
the real facts, are plain to see, life means shit to these oil companies
they’ll murder they’ll lie, cover up deny, destroy indigenous cultures…..and poison our earth.
billions of dollars a year, but still its not enough
everyday they create new ways to turn over another buck
exxon is the largest, with 150 billion a year, but for their workers and the environment do you think they fucking care???
their air pollution record is the worst in the business, and in venezuela their destroying the rain forest, in 1989 one of their tankers ran aground spilling 11 million gallons of oil into prince william sound, they use toxic chemicals in their refineries
and falsify their records to keep the truth from you and me
texaco is close behind with one of the sickest histories, they made millions selling oil and gas illegally to the nazis!
and they’re tied in with chevron, as the company caltex
where deep in indonesia they support apartheid governments
in the interest of oil, the company suppressed protests
issuing security forces to destroy indigenous cultures
they use toxic chemicals, in their gasoline
dump toxic waste in oceans, and support
anti environmental campaigns
then there’s fucking shell, who merged with texaco
and now they’re the second largest oil company in the world!
in 1989 they worked out deals with nigeria, to silence protests and killed Ken Sharo Wima
others were hanged arrested or murdered for disrupting shell’s operations
in villages millions were killed for, protesting their pollution
their list is endless from murder to production of illegal chemicals
they co ran operations at the rocky mountain arsenal
and this is only the beginning of the lies these companies follow
a far fucking cry from the lies, they want us to swallow!
the real facts are plain to see, life means shit to these oil companies
when there are so many more alternatives that would put our world at ease
and their fucking oppression, and smash their fucking greed
cause theres more at stake then the money they make
theres the lives the take, the lives they make
end their senseless tyranny, end their oppression, smash their greed!
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Refinery blast kills 4 workers
Friday 03 June 2011
by Paddy McGuffin, Home Affairs Reporter
An investigation has been launched into the causes of an oil refinery blast in south Wales which killed four people and serious injured another on Thursday night.
Chief Superintendent Gwyn Thomas of Dyfed Powys police said his officers were informing the relatives of the workers who had died.
He added: “A police investigation is now under way, with the Health and Safety Executive, and early indications show that this was a tragic industrial incident.”
The fire was caused by an explosion in a 730 cubic metre storage tank, which then caused damage to an adjacent tank, he said.
Local people reported hearing the explosion and seeing a plume of black smoke.
Unite, which has more than 400 members at the site, expressed its “deep sympathy” at the death of the four contractors.
Regional officer Allan Card added: “Unite regards health and safety in the workplace as the highest priority and we will fully co-operate with the investigation which is under way.
“It is premature for any conclusions to be drawn.”
Chevron confirmed that the four people who died were contractors and said another worker was receiving treatment in hospital for serious injuries.
David Urpeth, the national head of workplace injuries at Irwin Mitchell solicitors, urged the authorities to act quickly to reassure the community regarding security.
“It is absolutely vital that Chevron, the Health and Safety Executive and other authorities work swiftly to determine what caused the explosion and subsequent fire and, more importantly, how it could have been prevented,” he said.
Four workers were killed and another was seriously injured June 2 in an explosion at the Chevron Oil Refinery in Pembroke Dock, Wales: here.
The four workers killed by an explosion at a south Wales oil refinery on Thursday were named this weekend: here.
Amazon pollution victims to ask judge to award $8bn Chevron money: Guardian: here.
Chevron still fighting payout for Ecuador eco damage: here.
Exxon Texas Refinery Reports 8-Week Propylene Leak: here.
Exxon Mobil Must Pay $1.5 Billion For Gas Station Leak: here.
Anahad O’Connor, The New York Times News Service: “An ExxonMobil pipeline running under the Yellowstone River in south central Montana ruptured late Friday, spilling crude oil into the river and forcing evacuations. The pipeline burst about 10 miles west of Billings, coating parts of the Yellowstone River that run past Laurel – a town of about 6,500 people downstream from the rupture – with shiny patches of oil. Precisely how much oil leaked into the river was still unclear. But throughout the day Saturday, cleanup crews in Laurel worked to lessen the impact of the spill, laying down absorbent sheets along the banks of the river to mop up some of the escaped oil, and measuring fumes to determine the health threat”: here.
Montana Farmer Says Exxon Refuses to Admit Extent of Damage From Oil Spill Into Yellowstone River: here.
This is a Dutch video about action in the Netherlands against Shell pollution in Nigeria.
Translated from Dutch site Blik op Nieuws today:
Amsterdam – Shell refuses to disclose documents to three Nigerians and Friends of the Earth in the Netherlands. Those documents might shed more light on the circumstances surrounding leaks from Shell oil pipelines in the Niger Delta.
See also here.
From Jeff Ballinger’s blog in the USA:
Near the end of her [Condoleezzza Rice's] decade on Chevron’s board (she joined it in 1991 while a professor at Stanford University), the corporation cooked up the very responsible-sounding “The Chevron Way to a Strong Board.”
As chairman of the “Public Policy Committee,” she should have been tuned in to the open secret of kickbacks being paid to Saddam starting in June 2000 (everyone in the industry knew, according to investigators quoted in this morning’s International Herald Tribune).
While she left the board to head the National Security Council seven months later, there was plenty of time to keep Chevron from buying millions of barrels of crude from Iraq and sending around $20 million to Saddam’s private accounts and “pet projects” like aiding Russian whacko bigot, Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
In this video, Rumsfeld greets Saddam Hussein
“The Chevron Way to a Strong Board”, after all, emphasized “ensuring that management and the CEO lay the company’s problems out on the table,” according to CEO at the time, Kenneth Derr.
Sounds really thoughtful and, like most Corporate Social Responsibility blather, aimed at concrete problems.
Problem is, even the top officials can be faked out or lack interest in flagging the most blatant acts of cupidity.
Chevron will pay around $25 million to settle the charges – an amount the company will recoup hundreds of times over if the Iraq oil law goes forward with Production Sharing Agreements in the legislation.
In a more just world, such a spectacular failure of “Corporate Social Responsibility” would occasion a spate of investigative reports about how other corporations (shoe, apparel, electronics, toys, etc.) are cheating workers or abusing the environment while pledging that contractors are “clean” and “green.”
Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush: here.
- Susan Rice is attacked by the same conservatives who defended Condoleezza Rice: Editorial (nj.com)
- Constance “Connie” Rice vs. Condoleezza “Condi” Rice (darkactsbible.wordpress.com)
- Khosla Ventures and Condoleezza Rice’s firm: A “strategic relationship” (nextlevelofnews.com)
- Susan Rice, Condi Rice and Republican hypocrisy (dailykos.com)
- Obama Invites Syrian Rebel Leader Who Praised Saddam for “Terrifying the Jews” to Washington DC (genomega1.wordpress.com)
- John McCain Supported Condi Rice After Massive Intelligence Failure (thinkprogress.org)