If there is any good that has emerged from the Gulf oil spill, perhaps it’s the harsh reality that our addiction to fossil fuel comes with a laundry list of environmental consequences that we are finally beginning to grasp.
We can no longer justify, turn a blind eye or reserve our energy concerns for a rainy day because with each day that passes, new eco-system casualties are being documented…and if you’ve seen any of the photos, it’s an absolutely heart-wrenching scene out there.
That’s why the latest news about documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger’s mini-success in court is so timely.
Following the release of his 2009 movie CRUDE – which documents the continuing saga of Equadorian natives who say that oil giant Chevron decimated the Amazon jungle and the health of their people during the company’s 30 year Lago Agrio oil field exploration – just last month, the deep pocketed corporation somehow managed to get a federal judge to order Berlinger to hand over more than 600 hours of leftover documentary footage.
Chevron was hoping that by combing through the documentarian’s scads of videotape, they might be able to conjure up some sort of misconduct or fraudulent evidence that could enable them to say buh-bye to the hefty $27 billion class action lawsuit that has been haunting them for well over one year.
Bear in mind that this has been a painfully drawn out case with many twists and turns, so being cautiously optimistic about team Berlinger, while nice, might be somewhat naïve.
A full hearing will occur in July, at which time “the appellate court could decide to merely narrow the scope of the subpoena” and order that Berlinger hand over the footage anyway.
Fingers crossed that at least ONE oil company gets their head served to them on a big fat bank-account-busting platter.
Sunday, June 13, 2010