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USA: Chevron-Texaco Merger Criticized

Institute for Public Accuracy
October 16th, 2000

Chevron has just agreed to acquire Texaco for $36 billion. This follows the BP-Amoco and Exxon-Mobil mergers. The following analysts are available for comments:

WENONAH HAUTER, whauter@citizen.org, http://www.citizen.org/cmep Director of Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy Project, Hauter said today: "This trend towards more consolidation in the oil industry is bad for consumers in the long run and has the added impact of increasing the political power of these larger companies to influence energy policy. So rather than transitioning away from the use of oil, these larger, more politically powerful companies can influence public policy and this results in more subsidies, more tax breaks for the oil industry and increased pressure to drill in environmentally sensitive areas. It also influences foreign policy as the U.S. taxpayer funds military operations to advance these companies' interests around the globe."

JAMES LOVE, love@cptech.org, http://www.cptech.org/at/oil/mar29-2000-opec.html.org Director of the Consumer Project on Technology, Love said today: "Why would we want another giant merger in the oil industry? The last wave of mergers was followed by rising prices. This type of merger makes it easier for the private sector to make the cartel work. There is already too much collusion in the oil industry, and too many competition-reducing joint ventures."

DANNY KENNEDY, dannyk@moles.org, http://www.moles.org Director of Project Underground, Kennedy said today: "Chevron-Texaco clearly puts more power in the hands of still fewer oil men. We need to bust this and the other Big Oil trusts in order to protect consumers from getting ripped off at the gas pump. But today's merger bespeaks an even darker consummation in the Niger Delta, where Chevron and Texaco have both produced oil for years at the expense of people there. These facts are rarely considered by the regulators when looking at mergers and acquisitions, but they should be. From Burma to Ecuador, Nigeria to Papua New Guinea, communities resisting exploitation by these two need more accountability of the companies, not less."

RICHARD GROSSMAN, people@poclad.org, http://www.poclad.org Co-director of the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy, Grossman said today: "The law gives corporations the authority to make our country's and communities' decisions about our energy policy -- and about so many other vital matters. Yet aren't we supposed to be self-governing people? Aren't 'we the people' supposed to be the ultimate source of all legal authority? Well, despite all the regulatory and antitrust laws on the books, giant corporations do the real governing in the USA. So rather than trying to 'fix' one giant merger after another...the American people need to go beyond anti-trust and regulatory laws -- and beyond promises of corporate social responsibility and voluntary codes of conduct -- to contest giant corporations' generations-old seizure of governing power."

Institute for Public Accuracy
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