May 29, 2013

At Annual Shareholder Meeting, Public Citizen Criticizes Chevron for Its Political Spending

Activists Call on Chevron to Stop Spending in Elections, Question Legality of Super PAC Contribution

SAN RAMON, Calif. – Public Citizen and a coalition of activists held a protest outside Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting today calling on the company to refrain from spending its money on elections.

During the 2012 election, Chevron contributed $2.5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a conservative super PAC. Public Citizen has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that if Chevron’s subsidiary holds government contracts, its super PAC contribution may have violated the federal pay-to-play law.

“Shareholders need to hear the message that in its lowdown pursuit of the bottom line, oil giant Chevron has wreaked environmental destruction from the Amazon rainforest to Richmond, California,” said ShoshanaWechsler, an activist with Public Citizen. “And when it made a multimillion-dollar contribution to a conservative super PAC during the last election, it may have violated a federal law that prohibits political donations by federal contractors.”

Chevron’s expansion in the political arena with its subsidiary’s super PAC contribution, the largest ever given by a publicly traded company, signals a new level of corporate interference with elections. Unleashed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, unchecked corporate spending in elections drowns out the voices of average Americans and contributes to governmental inaction on climate change and a lack of accountability for corporate negligence.

“Contributions like these help to elect a Congress willing to look the other way on climate change, environmental violations and workplace safety concerns,” said Kelly Ngo, legislative assistant with Public Citizen. “Progress on all of these crucial issues depends on cleaning up our elections and restoring a prominent voice for the people in the political process.”

Public Citizen’s full reaction to the shareholder meeting will be posted at citizenvox.org within 24 hours.

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