Supreme Court rules against Chevron
By GREG STOHR
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Chevron Corp., the second-largest U.S. energy company, in a fight with the Ecuadorean government over potentially tens of billions of dollars in liability for environmental damage.
The justices, without comment, today let stand a lower court ruling that blocked Chevronís effort to force arbitration with state-owned PetroEcuador.
Chevron contended that a 1965 joint operating agreement requires PetroEcuador to pay a share of any award in a pending environmental lawsuit against the U.S. company. A court- appointed expert has recommended that Chevron be forced to pay more than $27 billion. Chevron has denied wrongdoing.
PetroEcuador and the Ecuadorean government contended in court papers that the state-owned company isnít bound by the 1965 accord, signed by two private companies including one that is now part of Chevron. PetroEcuador became a partner in the operations in the 1970s and took them over in 1992.
Chevron is based in San Ramon, California.
The case is ChevronTexaco Corporation v. Republic of Ecuador, 08-1123.Posted by Arthur Caldicott on 30 Jun 2009