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Standing Up to Big Oil


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Women next to an oil wellhead that has been spilling crude oil near the community of Ikot Ada Udo, the Niger Delta, since 2004 © Kadir van Lohuizen/NOOR

The oil industry is dirty business. From the Niger Delta to California, to the recent gulf coast oil spill, the legacy of contamination and human rights abuse goes back decades. But some folks are standing up to big oil.

On this edition, we take a look at how citizen groups around the world are holding oil businesses accountable, from courtroom battles to government regulation.

Challenging Chevron in Nigeria

In recent years, communities worldwide have protested the presence of big oil. One of the longest-running and bloody oil conflicts in the world is with the Chevron Corporation in Nigeria. Freelance Producer Lynn Feinerman has more about the Niger Delta and how grassroots groups and non-profits are taking the oil business to the courtroom.

Chevron in Richmond

The Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, California is one of the oldest and largest in the United States. Locals have welcomed the company’s boost to employment – some three thousand jobs – and sizable tax contributions. But Chevron is also the number one greenhouse gas emitter in California; and has contributed to the degradation of water, soil and air quality in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the past decade, the city and residents of Richmond, have forced the company to curb its impact.  Making Contact producer Kyung Jin Lee has more about the ongoing efforts to make the company serve the community.


Nigerian women’s rights advocate Emem Okon, speaking at the 2010 United States Social Forum in Detroit, Michigan.


Mundey Omoshaye, activist and member of Ilaje tribe in Nigeria; Suwanu Bere, Ogoni villager, Nigeria; Scott Gilmore, law student and journalist; Patti Goldman, Vice President of Litigation, Earthjustice; Sandy Saeturn, organizer, Asian Pacific Environmental Network; Jessica Tovar, organizer, Communities for a Better Environment; Gayle McLaughlin, Mayor of Richmond, California; Greg Karras, senior scientist, Communities for a Better Environment; Reverend Ken Davis, resident of Richmond, California

For More Information

Asian-Pacific Environmental Network
Oakland, CA

Clean the Niger Delta Campaign

Communities for a Better Environment
Oakland, CA

Oakland, CA

Justice In Nigeria Now

Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People
Niger Delta, Nigeria

The True Cost of Chevron

Articles, Blogs, Film Reports and Other:

Bowoto vs. Chevron Blog

‘Chevron in Richmond’ in the Race, Poverty and the Environment Journal
By Ellen Choy and Ana Orozco

Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail’s Dispatches from the Gulf Coast

Mother Jones’ BP Oil Spill Coverage:

‘The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report’

Related Programs:

Oil and Outrage Flare: An Audio Journey Through the Niger Delta

Delta on Fire: Nigerian Women’s Resistance

Fuel to the Fire: Oil and Indigenous People in Colombia

Beyond BP: A Future Without Oil

Exxon’s Oil to Tennessee’s Coal

Transcript: Global Warming and Corporate Interests

Oil and Outrage Flare: An Audio Journey Through the Niger Delta

Inside Capital

Oil Slick: Bechtel, Halliburton, and the White House

Deadly Extractions: Oil and Mining interests in Africa

No ‘Fracking’ Way: The Perils of Natural Gas Drilling


‘Rain in the Dust’ – Robert Tree Cody and Will Clipman

‘Suffering’ – Hossam Ramzy

‘Abudeo’ – Calinambe

‘Yoky’ – Fatala

‘Sorry Sorry’ – Femi Kuti

Author: Radio Project

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