Chevron Plaintiff Lawyer’s Least Favorite Writer

In Forbes yesterday, New York lawyer Steven Donziger, consultant attorney for Ecuadorian plaintiffs in the suit against Chevron, criticizes my article, Toxic Revenge,” in the same publication:

[W]riter Silvia Santacruz rolled out the latest of Chevron’s counter-attacks: that Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has publicly supported the plaintiffs and made a fair trial impossible; that plaintiff attorneys have made a career out of pursuing Chevron; and that this is really just a case of radical environmentalism at work. What Chevron doesn’t say is that it has been afforded more due process rights than probably any defendant in the history of environmental litigation.

While he implies, without evidence, that I’m some sort of mouthpiece for Chevron, I found it strange why I’m the only writer critical of his case cited in his piece. (In fact, my employer, CEI, has been critical of a recent Chevron ad campaign.)

Why is this? I have no idea, but my guess would be that the fact I’m Ecuadorian should make me an especial target of criticism, because I know my country and the issues affecting its indigenous tribes. I highlighted this recently on blogger Fausta Wertz’s Podcast, and questioned the environmentalist NGO movement’s motives:

This kind of NGOs tells the developing world what to do. They say they represent them. But at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, where I work, we argue with that. Who gave them the right to represent my Ecuadorian people? How come these internationally-funded NGOs dare to say to represent them?

Another writer critical of Donziger’s case is The Miami Herald’s Glenn Garvin, who questions the entire basis of the case:

The conduct of the Chevron case has been an outrage from the beginning, with faked cancer cases, backdated documents, findings of pollution at nonexistent wells and grotesquely inflated costs estimates. (One court-appointed “expert” recommended billing Chevron $2.2 million for cleaning up each well pit, even though Petroecuador cleans up its own pits for $ 85,000 a piece.

And, far from a plucky underdog:

Donziger, the lead attorney representing the Ecuadoreans, is Barack Obama’s law-school pal who raised more than $ 40,000 for the campaign and likes to brag about his political clout.

More articles critical of Dozinger’s case and the environmental groups behind it can be found at