Chevron Corporation and Texaco Petroleum Corporation v. The Republic of Ecuador, UNCITRAL, PCA Case No. 2009-23, Track 2 Supplemental Rejoinder on the Merits of the Republic of Ecuador (March 17, 2015)
1. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States famously declared that “[i]n this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”1 This proceeding has established a third certainty: Claimants will begin their analysis, at every turn, with a predetermined conclusion and then consider every piece of evidence through that prism. Only by doing so can they label conjecture “fact” while sweeping away inconvenient evidence.
2. Even before any environmental testing, indeed from the beginning of the Aguinda case in New York, Claimants denied responsibility for TexPet’s pollution. They argued that there is no contamination. They have since argued that even if contamination exists it must be the fault of PetroEcuador, and that even if any of the contamination were their responsibility, it has been confined and poses no health risk to the residents. Each of these propositions has proven demonstrably false.
3. Ever since the indigenous Plaintiffs first commenced litigation against them, Claimants have fought hard to avoid an adjudication on the merits. From 1993 through dismissal of the Aguinda case in 2002, Texaco sought to deny the Plaintiffs their day in (a U.S.) court. After the Plaintiffs re-filed their case in Ecuador in 2003, and after Chevron’s initial efforts to shut down the litigation failed, Chevron engineered disputes to (1) delay resolution of the litigation and (2) prepare to attack collaterally any adverse judgment by setting up both a denial of justice claim and simultaneously a defense to potential enforcement actions. In short, Claimants long ago recognized the scope of their potential liability and developed multiple contingency plans to avoid their responsibility.