Apr. 29, 2005 – About 100 demonstrators from environmental and other groups protested outside the ChevronTexaco annual general meeting Wednesday while stockholders overwhelmingly rejected three resolutions regarding environmental protections.
The failed shareholder resolutions included an effort to compel the company to report on potential pollution from oil drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and other sensitive areas; a proposal to switch from animal testing to non-animal testing of chemicals; and a move to address contamination in Ecuador's rain forest.
None of the measures received more than 10 percent of the vote, the company said. Yet environmentalists were optimistic about the level of support the resolutions did receive, saying they faired relatively well and gained the backing of prominent shareholder groups.
The resolution concerning rain forest contamination, for instance, garnered the support of some of the countryâ€™s largest pension funds, including CalPERS, CalSTRS and the New York Common pension fund, which together claim more than $2 billion dollars in ChevronTexaco shares.
Among those speaking at the meeting, held at the company's San Ramon campus, was a member of the Secoya tribe from the Ecuadorian rain forest. The tribe, along with four others, is suing ChevronTexaco, asserting that the company polluted their land and water, leading to diseases and birth defects.
Five of the two dozen people who had lined up to address the shareholders on the resolutions were allowed to do so before the company's chief executive officer, David Oâ€™Reilly, ended the public comment portion of the meeting, Inside Bay Area reports.
During the meeting, ChevronTexaco announced a record $13 billion in profits and a 20 percent rise in its stock over the past year.