According to the Amazon Defense Coalition the petrochemical company Chevron has hired Douglas Southgate, a so called â€œscientistâ€ and an â€œenvironmental economistâ€, who is affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a climate change denying think tank.
The Amazon Defense Coalition says that the disclosure of Southgateâ€™s affiliation is bound to raise questions about Chevronâ€™s commitment to green policies. According to the coalition Chevron has fallen significantly behind its industry rivals in these matters.
Southgate has already been busy in the news reports trying to defend Chevronâ€™s practices. This includes the dumping of more than 18 billion gallons of toxic waste into Amazon waterways and the abandonment of more than 900 waste pits gouged out of the jungle floor in Ecuador.
Besides Southgate the Amazon Defense Coalition says Chevron has hired other questionable â€œscientistsâ€. Ralph Marquez, a former chief lobbyist for the chemical industry in Texas, and Sara McMillen, a Chevron scientist who speaks to the media about toxicological issues without having a degree in the subject.
The Amazon Defense Coalition also criticises Chevron for their â€œhuman energyâ€ greenwashing advertising campaign, saying that the â€œoil giantâ€™s ad campaign touts a â€œgreenâ€ image while Amazon humanitarian crisis festers.â€
â€œChevronâ€™s so-called â€˜greenâ€™ advertising campaign is a fraud when compared to the companyâ€™s environmental record in the Amazon,â€ said Pablo Fajardo, an Ecuadorian lawyer and Goldman Prize winner who leads the Ecuador case.
â€œChevron is paying academics to distort research to hide a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe in Ecuador,â€ said Fajardo. â€œTheir advertising budget would be better spent on solving real problems.â€