Blame game ensues with Chevron's spill

March 22, 2012 at 10:23 AM
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BRASILIA, Brazil, March 22 (UPI) -- A decision by Brazil to file criminal charges against Chevron executives for an oil spill highlights the company's record, an advocacy group said.

Brazil charged executives from Chevron and rig-owner Transocean with environmental crimes tied to an oil leak off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in November. The government said the companies weren't acting responsibly during their operations at the Frade field.

Ginger Cassady, a campaign director for Rainforest Action Network, said protesters issued a symbolic arrest warrant for John Watson, Chevron's chief executive officer.

"Chevron is known as a corporate criminal around the world and today they are being charged by Brazil (for their crimes)," Cassady said in a statement.

More than 2,500 barrels of oil spilled at the Frade field, operated by Chevron, off the coast of Brazil in November. The company last week reported a similar incident in the same area.

Chevron, in a statement, said the charges are "outrageous and without merit." The U.S. supermajor said it cooperated fully with Brazilian authorities and responded to the November incident in a timely and appropriate fashion.

"There is no technical or factual evidence demonstrating any willful or negligent conduct by Chevron or its employees associated with the incident," the company said. "We have sought to perform our operations in full compliance with Brazilian laws and industry practices and to comply with all applicable licenses and authorizations."

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