The Corner

Mama Mia Farrow: An Ecuador Update

Maybe Lourdes and Fatima were closed? Actress Mia Farrow this week went instead on another kind of pilgrimage, to a holy place for misguided lefties, Ecuador:

What chutzpah. There’s plenty that’s “toxic” down in Quito, but it’s not of Chevron’s doing. Mrs. Sinatra-Allen is mounting the ramparts on behalf of a thoroughly leftist scandal, a coming-apart-at-the-seams attack on a U.S. corporation in order to line the pockets of trial lawyers, environmental activists, money speculators, and Ecuador’s insatiable socialist strongmen. Her cause has nothing to do with protecting rainforests or helping supposedly harmed indigenous people.

The story, about which I have written on many occasions (here, here, and here, as has my colleague Kevin Williamson, here) centers on a contrived multi-billion-dollar claim against Chevron: that it (as Texaco) failed to remediate long-abandoned oil-drilling sites in Ecuador, leaving disastrous messes (for the record, there weren’t any), which caused pollution, contamination, cancer — the entire enchilada. Who knows, there’s probably some racist claim made too.

The suit against Chevron seeking nearly $20 billion has been quarterbacked by notorious U.S. trial lawyer Steven Donziger, funded by liberal hedge funds and lobbying firms, publicized by outrageous media bias (led by CBS’s 60 Minutes), made a cause célèbre by the usual suspects (Mia, Sting, Danny Glover, Cher, and Daryl Hannah), and legally aided through the Ecuadoran courts by corrupt bureaucrats and bought-off judges (all of whom have come to admit such).

It’s hard to generate compassion for an Oil Giant, but the degree of misconduct, conspiracy, and foulness concocted against Chevron has been so severe, so bald, so criminal, that eight U.S federal courts have found the case against Chevron to have involved fraud.

The wheels are coming off the bus: Mr. Donziger, the defendant in a recent RICO trial, now awaits a verdict from one of those courts.

But even as this broad conspiracy to plunder an American company circles the drain, there are, like Ms. Farrow, other latecomers to the anti-Chevron cause. Such as the Sierra Club, which is urging the usual suspects to “Stop Chevron’s attacks against the people it poisoned!” — maybe confusing Chevron with the deplorable contamination record of the government-run PetroEcuador. And as he fights the self-inflicted fraud charges, Donziger has cobbled a fourth legal defense team, led by Deepak Gupta, who will be assisted by University of Denver Law School professors Justin Marceau and John Campbell. And their students. Take note, UD alumni.

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