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August 24, 2017

CRUDE. Another Example of Why You Should Never Ever Trust Chevron.

As if we needed another reason to remind us what big trans-national oil companies will do when they can. Right here in Alaska, Chevron allowed six million gallons of oil to sit unchecked on the shores of Cook Inlet in the path of an erupting volcano. Bob Shavelson of Cook Inletkeeper described it on Mudflats.

Despite months of warning, there was no actionable plan in place to address a catastrophic spill from the facility. The spill contingency plan required by laws passed after the Exxon Spill didn’t address a 6 million gallon spill, and it didn’t even envision oil from the tank farm hitting open water. Chevron, state and federal agencies took more than a week to activate a Unified Command to coordinate spill prevention and response. And most disturbingly, the initial response priorities were not to protect our invaluable fisheries but instead to ensure the continued flow of oil. That’s right: continued oil production and facility re-start were higher priorities than fisheries protection.

Continued oil production seems to trump everything.  And this story is not unique to Chevron.  There’s Shell Oil in the Niger Delta, Exxon in Alaska, and countless others.

Next time you notice a “sponsored by (fill in the name of oil company)” mention in a symphony program, or a kids’ sporting event, or some nice community activity, remember this. The next time you drive past an ice rink, or a civic center with an oil company logo and start to think what upstanding community members and good neighbors they are, think of the people in this video.

I know plenty of good, decent people who work for oil companies, but this is the side of that industry that nobody wants to see, and good people don’t want to think about. This is the corporate heart. There’s a great article about the movie on Huffington Post that you can read HERE.

Ultimately, the film gives us a glimpse of the beauty and mystery of the Amazon and its indigenous cultures, and puts a human face on the devastation left there by three decades of oil operations. But it does a lot more. Among other things, it also tells the story of what it takes to go up against one of the most powerful companies on the planet.

The film opens in New York on 09/09/09, followed by runs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and thirty more smaller cities across the country [full list]. This sounds great but think of it compared to G.I. Joe, which was playing in 4,000 theaters at the same time a couple weeks ago! Theaters nationwide will be watching to see how the film performs in the first few weeks to decide whether to screen it themselves so please, help us spread the word.

Blog about CRUDE, post the trailer and poster and web banners on your social networks, follow and retweet @crudethemovie & @amazonwatch, become a fan of the film on Facebook, and join our mailing list for news, updates, and action alerts.

Visit for resources to help you promote CRUDE and get involved with the Clean Up Ecuador Campaign. Join us now so you can join us for the campaign’s victory party in the near future!

You can also visit the official film website at: to read more about the making of the film, to sign up for updates from the filmmaker, and to see the latest play-dates.

If you are in a city where the film shows and can do a write up, please send it to akmuckraker(at)yahoo(dot)com.



17 Responses to “CRUDE. Another Example of Why You Should Never Ever Trust Chevron.”
  1. Ryan H. says:

    Faux progressives everywhere it seems will fall over each other to complain about big oil and all the rest of the so called ‘smoke stack’ industry every chance they get. But don’t confuse me, I agree whole-heartedly with everything they have to say. In my opinion, it is extremely misguided to focus on any one industry without even mentioning the wider problem.

    1) A Wal-Mart opening up in your community has, in my opinion, just as much negative socio-economic-environmental implications at the local, regional and global level as a Chevron or Shell drilling oil wells in Ecuador does.

    2) This is a capitalist problem, not at all specific to oil companies. Growth and profit without end on a planet with finite resources is impossible. Not enough supposed progressives seem to grasp the fact that our system is a chimera that invariably leads to disaster. The wholesale carnage delivered from companies like Chevron and Wal-Mart underscore the point that the whole system is bad, it almost doesn’t have anything to do with the individual companies involved. So called ‘progressives’ fail to recognize this fact. All too often, it is much easier to point the finger at and single out a individual company. Any article critical of industry needs to at least mention that the whole system is cancerous.

    3) At the end of the day, can we all just agree that as long as there is a demand, there is going to be a supply? The USA makes up 5% of the global population and consumes 25% of the planets natural resources. This is the ultimate ‘living arrangement with no future’. More than anything, this is a consumption problem. If progressives spent half as much energy subverting the current corporate-consumer system as they do howling about ‘smoke-stack’ industry, we might get somewhere.

  2. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    Palin the Absent, but not Abstinent. Has a nice ring to it. I hope she stays Absent, but monkeys will fly out of my you know what first. But one can dream…

    RyanH – “give me a break people”. Sorry, no breaks – plus that phrase is going to negate just about anything you say after that. You were all over the map in that post and I’m giving no breaks whatsoever. It’s easy and cheap to visit a blog and criticize the author rather than presenting your views in a different way – just like it’s easy and cheap to buy crap from China. You are right up there with the folks you are trying to estrange or shame. Shame on you.

  3. naughtymonkey says:

    OT, I’m not surprised, but really…

    “Palin won’t show at fundraiser, denies accepting invitation”

  4. Alaskan_4_LAM says:

    “Next time you notice a “sponsored by (fill in the name of oil company)” mention in a symphony program, or a kids’ sporting event, or some nice community activity, remember this…”

    Are you suggesting we boycott these activities and places?

    No doubt, big oil has done awful things to our environment, screwed over our fisherman and more all in the name of money. They keep billions in profits and share minuscule amounts with the communities from which they take their product. Unfortunately, many non-profits in our community rely on the money provided by oil companies, and while these organizations may not agree with the BIG OIL mentality, they would be ridiculous to turn the money down. Many would not only have to severely limit services, but would likely fold without such funding.

    AKM – Thank you for shedding light on this film. I also hope that when people see “sponsored by BIG OIL” that people remember the film, but I also hope they don’t punish the community centers, organizations and events that are fortunate to receive some funding from oil companies in Alaska.

    No, I’m not suggesting that. Merely saying that we need to see the bigger picture, and not allow ourselves to believe that those nice things make everything else OK. AKM

  5. QuiltAK says:

    Seattlefan – well said! Sometimes I think what is in my head and what I type probably come across completely different. Hopefully I will get better with practice. Thought I spell checked, too. Guess not . Oh, well. And I’m sure getting angry at Ryan H. probably didn’t win him over, either. But really, after all AKM does for everyone, to imply she doesn’t do enough, kinda threw me over the edge….

  6. QuiltAK says:

    AKM, Thank you for once again providing another example of the abuses of Big Oil. My interpretation is that that is the point of your post?

    Ryan H. Give you a break? Really? What are you doing to combat all of these problems? Where’s your blog? Do you expect AKM to address all of the worlds problems? She is after all only one person. And she does a dam* good job of bringing many things to many peoples attention. The folks who read this blog are pretty dam* good about taking action, as well. And please don’t automatically rudely criticize people for ” thirst for cheap stuff”. There are many who cannot afford otherwise and many who may just be learning how corrupt most big business can be, and many who already do pay attention to where their dollars go. I believe most here will educate themselves and take what actions they can on what they believe to be important. And no, I don’t complain about the produceher in AK because where I shop (the farmers market), the produce is dam* good. And yes, I reuse, recycle, and shop fair trade, and local, whenever I can. But even I have to compromise sometimes. Insulting me and and calling me a glutton doesn’t win me over to your side. One of the many things I have learned from AKM and many other bloggers is that you don’t win people over by insulting them. I guess, just think about what you write and how you write it before you hit send. We all have our soap boxes and there is a lot in in this world that needs to be changed. OK, cooling down….

    Thank you for informing of this upcoming movie AKM. I know of another website that is promoting the ability to live a healthy lifestyle in Ecuador and now wonder if those who are promoting it or those who are buying into it have done all their homework. I get it now that when we learn we have to share, and, if possible, in a positive way is always better. Some will listen, some won’t. Those that are seeking betterment will listen to a rational argument, those who aren’t won’t listen to anything. hitting send before I start soapboxing….

  7. Kath the Scrappy says:

    OMG! I mentioned the Vanity Fair article above (found linked from the HuffPost article “Especially inspiring is the story of *Pablo Fajardo*, the young former oil field worker who completed his law degree by correspondence course and is now the lead attorney for the plaintiffs.) Took me some time to read because I had to keep referring back & forth.

    Granted I use larger font, so it was 11pgs, but it was quite detailed & NO fluff piece while still providing the human interest info. I HIGHLY recommend people read that article before seeing the movie. I don’t see how the movie would have the time to go into that much of the background.

    People in AK or TX or oil producing states would probably glean more out of the article than I could. They spilled much more oil than the Exxon Valdez & toxic water – with NO cleanup whatsoever! My jaw is dragging the floor! This was beyond criminal, during the same time periods the oil companies were being ‘somewhat’ environmentally conscious in the U.S.A. oil fields.

    Please read it, will somebody?

  8. seattlefan says:

    P.S. to my previous post:

    Your statement “Buy local whenever you can!” is nice but ludicrous when it comes to oil. Think about it.

  9. seattlefan says:

    @Ryan H. #8:

    Actually, this is an oil company problem. The very fact that you stated that ALL multinational cooperations are this way is an admission to that.

    This post was about the impact of Big Oil policies in Alaska. I think you may have missed the point.

    I don’t think AKMuckraker is missing the point at all. She is spot on. By reading your comments, it seems you would be in agreement with her. Whether (not weather) it is oil, shoes or pineapple and I might add clothes, the fact is that these corporations are greedy and have their self interests in the forefront with no regard to the environment or the local populations.

    You make a very valid point on the gluttonous US consumer habits, but let’s not forget the US is not the only country with an insatiable thirst of “cheap stuff”.

  10. Ryan H. says:

    Give me a break people.

    This isn’t an oil company problem, ALL multinational coorporations are this way. Think about Nike putting 10 year olds to work in Indo-china stitching on the swoosh to that fancy pair of sneakers you see in the store. United Fruit (AKA Dole, Chiquita, etc.) has done things to the people of Latin America that would make your skin crawl. Next time your browsing the fruit section, think about the farmer that got kicked off his land and now works like a med-evil peasant for pennies a day for his corporate master, all so we can complain about how terrible the produce in Alaska is.

    Again, AKMuckraker misses the point by focusing only on ‘Big Oil’. Weather it is crude oil, running shoes or pineapples, the real problem is looking at you in the mirror, it is the gluttonous US consumer with an insatiable thirst for ‘cheap stuff’. As long as there is a demand for cheap commodities, someone is going to sell them.

    Buy local whenever you can!

  11. anon blogger says:

    Collateral damage…for profits.

    Thanks, AKM, for sharing this info. I will spread the word.

  12. mhrt says:

    Oh my gosh..this so sad. These big companies are just vile. They do not care about any thing but the money.

  13. Kath the Scrappy says:

    I was just following one link to another, Still reading this, but it’s a fascinating Vanity Fair story from 2007 about the young Ecuadorian lawyer and his background. Totally interesting!
    Pablo Fajardo, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Chevron, standing on oil pipelines near the town of Lago Agrio, Ecuador.

  14. SameOld says:

    150 years ago this week Drake put up the first oil derrick in Titusville, PA and the race was on.

    It has always been a boom and bust commodity.

  15. weaver57 says:

    Well, Crude most likely will not make it to Kentucky. I wish it would get a Michael Moore distribution.

  16. jojobo1 says:

    It isn’t only the oil it is also the rain forrest being cut down with people looking for gold.The people who live in these remote areas have little choice in the matter.

  17. InJuneau says:

    Wow, looks like that will be informative. We’ll look for it here (hopefully it will make it).

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