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GORE’S EMPTY RHETORIC
Al Gore: "It takes somebody who is independent from Big Oil to take on Big Oil, and I’m independent from them. . . ."
(Al Gore on June 28, 2000 as quoted in Bill Sammon, "Gore Resists Calls To Halt Oil Drilling In Colombia," The Washington Times, June 30, 2000)

THE TRUTH

Occidental’s chief Armand Hammer "was as cozy with Gore Jr. as he was with Gore Sr."
(Ken Silverstein, "Gore’s Oil Money; Occidental Petroleum And United States Foreign Policy In Colombia," The Nation, May 22, 2000)

"Occidental is the political patron of Al Gore [Jr.]. . ."
(Steve Kretzmann of Amazon Watch, a San Francisco-based member of the U’wa Defense Working Group quoted in Sam Loewenberg, "Big Guns Back Aid To Colombia," Legal Times, February 21, 2000)

A New York Times Columnist On The Sale Of The Elk Hills Reserve To Occidental: "[T]he interests of democracy would have been better served if it had been widely known that Occidental Petroleum has for years been a major benefactor of Mr. Gore’s family."
(Bob Herbert, "In America; Webs of Influence," The New York Times, February 3, 2000) (emphasis added)

"Al Gore has had a long-standing personal and financial relationship with Occidental Petroleum, the people who brought us Love Canal in the 1970s via Hooker Chemical."
(Charles Lewis, founder and executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, interviewed in "The Buying of the President: An Interview With Charles Lewis," Multinational Monitor, March 1, 2000) (emphasis added)

"Vice President Al Gore has many ties to Occidental Petroleum."
(Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Press Release, "‘No More Blood For Oil.’ Says McKinney," February 22, 2000)

GORE AND THE DESTRUCTION OF INDIANS’ LAND AND CULTURE
Gore Gives Occidental Oil Company A Pass. . .

In 2000, Gore Has Been Deafeningly Silent On Occidental Oil Company’s Destruction Of The Indigenous U’was’ Tribal Lands And Culture:

  • Gore Spokesman Doug Hattaway. "He doesn’t own stock in that company, and he doesn’t have any connection to that issue in Colombia." (Holly Ramer, The Associated Press, January 26, 2000) (emphasis added) 

  • Gore Spokeswoman Laura Quinn. "It’s a matter that involves the internal policies of another country. . ." (Ken Silverstein, "Gore’s Oil Money; Occidental Petroleum And United States Foreign Policy In Colombia," The Nation, May 22, 2000)

  • Gore Spokesman James Kennedy. It "‘is an internal domestic matter and the United States does not have the unilateral authority to intervene in it.’ Asked why the vice president doesn’t use his bully pulpit as a presidential candidate to articulate a moral stance on the controversy, Mr. Kennedy said: ‘I’ll just leave it at that.’" (Bill Sammon, "Gore Resists Calls To Halt Oil Drilling In Colombia," The Washington Times, June 30, 2000)(emphasis added)

  • Gore Spokesman Mark Fabiani On "Fox News Sunday:" 

    Snow: ". . . A number of environmentalists in this country want [Gore] to encourage Occidental Petroleum, with which his family has old ties, to cease a drilling project in Columbia which environmentalists say will despoil earth and kill off an Indian tribe. Why won’t he at least speak out on that?"

    Fabiani: "I’m not familiar with the Occidental issue. But I can tell you that these are the issues dealing with private companies or private organizations that are occurring in foreign countries. We just don’t have any control over what the entities are trying to do in other countries. . . . "
    (Fox News’ "Fox News Sunday," July 2, 2000) (emphasis added)

  • Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) Says "No More Blood For Oil" And Accuses Gore Of "Remain[ing] Silent." "I am concerned that the operations of oil companies, and in particular Occidental Petroleum, are exacerbating an already explosive situation, with disastrous consequences for the local indigenous [U’wa Indians]. . . I am contacting you because you have remained silent on this issue despite your strong financial interests and family ties with Occidental." (Ken Silverstein, "Gore’s Oil Money; Occidental Petroleum and United States Foreign Policy in Colombia," The Nation, May 22, 2000) (emphasis added) "The location of the drill site represents a serious disregard for the spiritual and cultural heritage of the U’wa people. . . . Oil drilling on U’wa land will result in considerable environmental damage and social conflict which will lead to greater militarization of the region as well as an increase in violence. The only way to avoid this tragedy is through respect for the rights of the U’wa under Colombian and international law. Sadly, both the Colombian government and Occidental Petroleum have disregarded these rights. If Occidental Petroleum begins drilling, which they say they could do at any time, it will be [sic] catastrophe. Respect for democracy, human and environmental rights are much more important than cash for capitalistic corporations, stated McKinney." (Rainforest Action Network: U’wa Campaign, "‘Suspend Occidental Petroleum’s Drilling’ Says Congresswoman McKinney," February 22, 2000; Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Press Release, "‘No More Blood For Oil.’ Says McKinney," February 22, 2000) (emphasis added) "Today, hope for the U’wa and other victims of human rights abuses in Colombia lies in your hands." (Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Press Release, "‘No More Blood For Oil.’ Says McKinney," February 22, 2000)

Occidental Petroleum’s Expansion Into Colombia Has Threatened The Land Of The U’wa, A Local Indigenous Tribe. In 1992, Occidental Petroleum signed an agreement with the Colombian government to develop the Samore Block region of Colombia, which is thought to contain around 1.4 billion barrels of oil. (Danielle Knight, "Colombia: U.S. Aid Challenged After Police Clash with U’wa," Inter Press Service, February 16, 2000) Since then, Occidental’s first drill site on this project has been embroiled in a conflict with a local indigenous tribe called the U’wa involving boundary disputes, ancestral land claims, and cultural preservation. In 1995 the conflict began in earnest when Occidental began to exercise its development rights and "conduct preliminary tests in the [Samore Block] area." (Steven Dudley, "In Colombia, a Dispute Fueled by Oil; U’wa Indians Appear to Be Losing Battle Against Government-Backed Drilling Project," The Washington Post, February 20, 2000)

Tribal Leaders Speak Out Against Occidental. Robert Perez, president of the Traditional Authority of the U’wa People, says "[t]he Occidental project is an affront to our livelihood, our lives and our culture." (Ken Silverstein, "Gore’s Oil Money; Occidental Petroleum And United States Foreign Policy In Colombia," The Nation, May 22, 2000) "Tribal leaders say the U’was will commit collective suicide if Occidental is allowed to drill on their land."
(Ken Silverstein, "Gore’s Oil Money; Occidental Petroleum And United States Foreign Policy In Colombia," The Nation, May 22, 2000)

Gore Has Stood Silent While Pollution From Occidental’s Oil Operations Destroy The U’was’ Native Lands. Occidental’s Cano Limon pipeline "has spilled an estimated 1,700,000 barrels of crude oil, contaminating surrounding land, lakes and rivers."
("Al Gore And Big Oil Genocide," Earth Island Journal, June 22, 2000) 

Occidental Has Benefited From Recent Human Rights Violations Committed Against The U’wa And Their Advocates. Recently, Colombian authorities have increased the pressure on the U’wa and their advocates in order to force them to allow Occidental oil exploration on their tribal land. In February of 2000, three U’wa children died during a peaceful, civil rights protest against Occidental and the Colombian government when they and their mothers were forcibly removed from a road leading to the Occidental drill site. The same police and military forces the Clinton/Gore Administration wants to support with increased military aid are the ones who used tear gas on the protesting U’wa, and, in an episode as recent as January 25, 2000, abused ten U’wa who were physically evicted from land they owned in order to allow Occidental access to the land’s oil and natural resources.
(Steven Dudley, "In Colombia, a Dispute Fueled by Oil; U’wa Indians Appear to Be Losing Battle Against Government-Backed Drilling Project," The Washington Post, February 20, 2000) In addition to the recent abuses committed by Colombian authorities, the chaos engulfing the U’wa people has also drawn in FARC, Colombia’s leftist guerilla insurgency, which murdered three Americans, Ingrid Washinawatok, Lahe’ena’e Gay, and Terence Freitas, founder of the California-based human rights group called U’wa Defense Working Group, in late 1999. (Danielle Knight, "Environment-Rights: U.S. Groups Pledge to Continue Defense of U’wa," Inter Press Service, March 8, 1999)

Al Gore Has Refused To Take Any Action To Help Relieve The U’was’ Suffering. Despite the human rights violations against the U’wa, Gore has refused to take action. U’wa activists in the U.S. tried to force this issue to Gore’s attention through protests at his New Hampshire Presidential Campaign Headquarters in January and attempts to question him at the Democratic Presidential Debate in Harlem, New York on February 21, 2000, all to no avail.
(Kathryn Marchocki, "Gore Headquarters Sit-In Site For Anti-Oil-Drilling Activists. Gore Talks To Factory Workers; Bradley Visits With Preschoolers," Manchester Union Leader, January 27, 2000; "Campaign 2000 II: Gore, Bradley Discuss Enviro Justice In," Greenwire, February 22, 2000) 

Leading Liberals, Environmentalists, and Journalists Have Called On Gore To End His Silence On This Issue:

  • Carl Pope, The Executive Director of the Sierra Club. The executive director of the Sierra Club, Carl Pope, told Gore that "hope for the U’wa and other victims of rights abuses in Colombia lies in your hands." (Rainforest Action Network, Urgent Action Alert, January 2000)

  • Journalist Terry Moran. Journalist Terry Moran criticized Gore’s silence: "Vice President Gore refused several requests to speak with ABC News about the U’wa, and his family’s holdings in Occidental. . . Gore’s public silence on the issue leaves him open [to] the charge that for all his speech-making on the environment, he won’t put his money where his mouth is." (ABC’s "World News Tonight," March 6, 2000)

  • Stephen Kretzmann of Amazon Watch. "There has been a lot of back-room negotiations between the Clinton administration and the Colombian government on behalf of Occidental. . . . Occidental is a favorite of the Clinton-Gore administration, particularly Gore. . . . You have an imminent, unfolding, tragic situation in Colombia being perpetrated by a corporation with direct ties to the vice president and he won’t do a . . . thing. . . . He has remained silent, and he hasn’t pulled his money out." (Stephen Kretzmann of Amazon Watch quoted in Bill Sammon, "Gore Resists Calls To Halt Oil Drilling In Colombia," The Washington Times, June 30, 2000)
  • Sharon Wright of the Rainforest Action Network. "Mr. Gore cannot pretend to be any better than Bush when his hands have the blood of the U’wa on them." (Sharon Wright of the Rainforest Action Network as quoted in Bill Sammon, "Gore Resists Calls To Halt Oil Drilling In Colombia," The Washington Times, June 30, 2000)

Gore Supporters, Occidental Lobbyists, And Democratic Fundraisers Have Been Working Hard To Promote Occidental’s Interests At The U’was’ Expense. Gore supporters both inside and outside the Administration have lobbied hard for Occidental’s drilling project in the U’was’ territory. Occidental hired former Democratic National Committee Treasurer Scott Pastrick in 1997 to promote this project; Pastrick prepared "call sheets" for Gore’s use during the Vice President’s 1996 fundraising solicitations. More recently in 1999, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, a prominent Gore supporter within the Administration, hired lobbyist Theresa Fariello, who had previously pressured the Energy Department to back Occidental’s drilling in Colombia. (Bill Sammon, "Gore Resists Calls To Halt Oil Drilling In Colombia," The Washington Times, June 30, 2000)

Occidental Says The Administration’s Aid Package To Colombia Will Protect Its Interests. The Clinton/Gore Administration is promoting a Colombian aid package that Occidental says will protect its oil interests. This aid package consists of over $1 billion dollars, part of which will go to fight FARC, Colombia’s left-wing insurgency. FARC’s frequent attacks on Occidental’s pipelines have done serious damage and spilled more crude oil than the Exxon Valdez.
(Bill Sammon, "Gore Resists Calls To Halt Oil Drilling In Colombia," The Washington Times, June 30, 2000)

. . . But Harshly Criticized Other Corporations For Their Destruction Of Indigenous Culture In Malaysia, Papua New Guinea And Around The World 

Gore Spokespersons’ Stated Reasons For Gore’s Silence On The U’was Are Contradicted By Gore’s Previous Actions On Behalf Of Other Indigenous Tribes Around The World.

  • Doug Hattaway: Gore "Doesn’t Own Stock In That Company, And He Doesn’t Have Any Connection To That Issue In Colombia." (Holly Ramer, The Associated Press, January 26, 2000) (emphasis added) Gore did not own stock in any of the logging companies that he criticized for destroying the land and culture of the Penans in Malaysia or Indians in Papua New Guinea. Gore’s "connection" to the issues in Malaysia and Papua New Guinea was far more attenuated than his "connection" with the U’was and Occidental.

  • Laura Quinn: "It’s A Matter That Involves The Internal Policies Of Another Country. . ." (Ken Silverstein, "Gore’s Oil Money; Occidental Petroleum And United States Foreign Policy In Colombia," The Nation, May 22, 2000) The destruction of the rain forests in Malaysia and Papua New Guinea involved "the internal policies of another country," but that did not stop Gore from calling on the Japanese government to investigate the timber companies in two separate Senate resolutions.

  • James Kennedy: It "Is An Internal Domestic Matter And The United States Does Not Have The Unilateral Authority To Intervene In It." (Bill Sammon, "Gore Resists Calls To Halt Oil Drilling In Colombia," The Washington Times, June 30, 2000) The destruction of the rain forests in Malaysia and Papua New Guinea involved "internal domestic matter[s]," but that did not stop Gore from calling on the Japanese government to investigate the timber companies in two separate Senate resolutions. Gore’s lack of "unilateral authority to intervene" did not stop him from speaking out in the Senate and introducing two Senate resolutions calling on the Japanese government to investigate timber companies.

  • Mark Fabiani: "We Just Don’t Have Any Control Over What The Entities Are Trying To Do In Other Countries. . . ." (Fox News’ "Fox News Sunday," July 2, 2000) The destruction of the rain forests in Malaysia and Papua New Guinea involved "what the entities are trying to do in other countries," but that did not stop Gore from calling on the Japanese government to investigate the timber companies in two separate Senate resolutions.

Al Gore Is Silent On The U’was, But In 1992 Introduced A Senate Resolution And Spoke Out On The Penans! In response to the destructive effects of logging on the Penan Indians of the East Malaysian State of Sarawak, Al Gore sponsored Senate Resolution 280 which called upon Malaysia to formally recognize and uphold the "customary land rights and the internationally established human rights of all indigenous peoples," and upon Japan to "investigate the activities of certain private companies of Japan in contributing to the destruction of. . . the culture of the indigenous people of Sarawak." (S. Res. 280, Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, April 2, 1992) 

Al Gore Is Silent On The U’was, But In 1992 Gore Criticized Timber Companies For Destroying The Indigenous Penan’s Tribal Lands And Culture: In his remarks in support of the resolution, Gore decried the destruction of indigenous peoples and cultures. In particular, he urged the world to "speak out" against the loss of native peoples and cultures: "The Penan Indians are desperately trying to save their homes and their culture from the incessant onslaught of bulldozers and chainsaws of timber companies. . . . The impact of this logging on the natives and their land is catastrophic. . . . Sadly, the struggle of the Penan is not an isolated event. All around the world, cultures that have developed and thrived over the millennia are being destroyed by timber, mining, and commercial agricultural interests. Their loss is a tragedy to us all, and I believe that we must speak out against the human rights and environmental abuses they endure. The resolution I submit today calls upon the Government of Malaysia to preserve the tropical rain forests and the indigenous tribal culture of Sarawak."
(Al Gore, Congressional Record, April 2, 1992) (emphasis added)

In Earth In The Balance, Gore In An Emotional Plea For People To "Speak Up," Compared The Plight Of The Penans To Those Of The Jews In Nazi Germany:

"The weak and powerless are the early victims, but the relentless and insatiable drive to exploit and plunder the earth will soon awaken the conscience of others who are only now beginning to interpret the alarms and muffled cries for help. In the famous words of Pastor Martin Niemoller, about how the Nazis were able to take over an entire society: ‘In Germany the Nazis came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.’"
(Al Gore, Earth In The Balance, 2000, p. 285)

Al Gore Is Silent On The U’was, But In 1991 Introduced A Senate Resolution And Spoke Out On The Indigenous Peoples Of Papua New Guinea! In response to the destructive effects of logging on the Indians of Papua New Guinea, Al Gore sponsored Senate Resolution 101 which called upon Japan "to investigate the activities of these large [timber] companies and bring an end to their abuses."
(Al Gore, Congressional Record, March 21, 1991) (emphasis added) 

Al Gore Is Silent On The U’was, But In 1991 Gore Criticized Timber Companies For Destroying The Indigenous Tribal Lands And Culture Of Papua New Guinea: In his remarks in support of the resolution, Gore decried the destruction of indigenous peoples and cultures. In particular, he urged the world to "speak out" against the loss of native peoples and cultures: 

The [timber] companies would not tolerate would not tolerate resistance to their presence in the rain forest and harassed these indigenous lands into submission. . . . These large Japanese companies are inflicting incredible harm on the indigenous peoples of the forest and on the living species that are being destroyed as the forests are torn down and burned. . . . We have seen in several different locations of the tropics particular areas of rain forests that are singled out for intensive logging. Sarawak has been talked about quite a bit. The Amazon, of course, is probably the most famous example. Now Papua New Guinea has been singled out. The ferocity of this onslaught is just devastating. The harm done, as I have tried to note in these remarks, is so great that the world as a whole must speak out in an effort to stop this
(Al Gore, Congressional Record, March 21, 1991) (emphasis added)

Al Gore Has Spoken Out In Defense Of At Least Nine Tribes Of Indigenous Peoples. . . Except For The U’was! Gore is aware of the threats facing indigenous peoples and has spoken out on behalf of the following: Iban, Inuit, Kayan, Kayapao, Kelabit, Kenyah, Lun Bawang, Penan and Yanomami. The U’was are noticeably absent.
(Al Gore, Earth In The Balance, 1993 edition, p. xiii; 2000 edition, pp. 283-285)

             
Gore Spokesman Mark Fabiani Denies That The Gore Family’s Occidental Stock Affects His Policy Views. 

Snow: Does that mean if Al Gore gets a chance, he’ll have his family divest all the Occidental stock?

Fabiani: Again, those stocks are in a trust. They don’t have any affect on the vice president’s day-to-day activities. They don’t have any affect on his policy views . . .
(Fox News’ "Fox News Sunday," July 2, 2000)

AL GORE HAS ALWAYS BEEN OCCIDENTAL’S VERY OWN "PETROLEUM POLITICIAN"

In 1997, Occidental Petroleum Tripled Its Oil Reserves By Acquiring Elk Hills In The "Largest Privatization Of Federal Property In U.S. History." As part of his Reinventing Government (REGO) initiative in 1995, Gore advocated the privatization of the Naval Petroleum Reserves located at Elk Hills oil field near Bakersfield, California.
(Al Gore, Common Sense Government: Works Better and Costs Less, 1995, p. 221) Occidental’s purchase of the 47,000 acre property, as one of twenty-two bids submitted by fifteen interested parties, allowed it to pick up a "crucial source of light crude [oil] in California" and triple its U.S. oil reserves overnight. Furthermore, acquisition of the field also allowed Occidental to triple the amount of natural gas extracted from the field. (Aliza Fan, "Administration’s DOE Cuts Include Plan to Privatize Naval Petroleum Reserve; Department of Energy," The Oil Daily, December 19, 1994; Charles Lewis, The Buying of the President 2000, p. 143; "DOE to Sell Elk Hills for $3.65 Billion," Environmental News Network, October 9, 1997)

Al Gore’s Energy Department Did Not Conduct The Required Environmental Impact Assessment Itself, Instead Delegating The Task To ICF Kaiser International, Inc., Where Former Gore Campaign Chair Tony Coelho And Former Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary Were On The Board. "Although, the Energy Department was required to assess the likely environmental consequences of the proposed sale [to Occidental], it didn’t. Instead it hired a private company, ICF Kaiser International, Inc., to complete the assessment."
(Charles Lewis, The Buying of the President 2000, p. 143) Interestingly, two of the more prominent members of the board of directors of Kaiser were Gore’s future presidential campaign chairman Tony Coelho and former Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary. (Charles Lewis, The Buying of the President 2000, p. 143; "Briefs: ICF Kaiser Appoints O’Leary To Board," Journal of Commerce, March 12, 1997) 

Al Gore Hypocritically Denounced Global Warming On The Same Day The Elk Hills Sale Was Announced. On the day of the announcement of the Elk Hills sale, Gore delivered a speech at the White House Conference on Climate Change at Georgetown University. While there, he denounced global warming and its alleged effects on the Earth’s atmosphere: "If we ignore the scientific warnings and continue stubbornly on our current course, we’d better begin to prepare what we would like to say to our children and grandchildren, because if they encounter the terrible consequences the scientific community is saying now come as a result of global climate disruption, and then look back at the evidence which was clearly laid out for us in our generation, they might fairly ask, ‘If you knew all that, why didn’t you do something about it?’"
(Vice President Al Gore, "Remarks By President Clinton And Vice President Al Gore At White House Conference On Climate Change Georgetown University, Washington, DC," Federal News Service, October 6, 1997) (emphasis added)

AL GORE’S ALLIANCE WITH OCCIDENTAL HAS BEEN LONG- STANDING AND MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL

Al Gore, Sr. Had A Long And Profitable Relationship With Occidental. "The elder Gore was such a loyal political ally that Occidental’s founder and longtime CEO, Armand Hammer, liked to say that he had Gore ‘in my back pocket.’" In fact, when Al Gore, Sr., left the Senate in 1970, Armand Hammer gave him "a $500,000-a-year job at an Occidental subsidiary and a seat on the company’s board of directors."
(Ken Silverstein, "Gore’s Oil Money; Occidental Petroleum and United States Foreign Policy In Colombia," The Nation, May 22, 2000)

Vice President Al Gore’s Alliance With Occidental Petroleum Has Also Been Very Profitable. In 1973, Occidental sold Al Gore, Sr., 88 acres of pastureland and a 2,100-square foot house in Carthage, Tennessee for $80,000, and, in a separate transaction, the mineral rights to that land for $80,000. The elder Gore then subsequently leased the mineral rights back to Occidental for "$20,000 in the first year, $10,000 annually for the next three years, and $20,000 for each year after that." The elder Gore then kept Occidental’s first payment of $20,000 and sold the property to his son for $140,000, $60,000 of which was for the mineral rights lease and $80,000 of which was for the house and land, which remains the Vice President’s legal residence.
(Bill Turque, Inventing Al Gore, 2000, p. 105-106) Occidental’s payments to Al Gore eventually totaled $190,000 by the time it sold its mineral rights lease in the 1980s. Occidental’s successors have continued to pay Gore $20,000 per year since the sale. (Micah Morrison, "Vetting the Frontrunners II: Albert Gore Jr. Occidental and Oriental Connections," The Wall Street Journal, September 29, 1999) "In total, Mr. Gore has earned $500,000 from zinc royalties.". (Micah Morrison, "Al Gore, Environmentalist and Zinc Miner," The Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2000) In addition, the younger Gore is the executor of a trust fund for his mother, Pauline, that contains Occidental stock valued at between $500,001 and $1,000,000. Gore stands to inherit this stock upon his mother’s death. (Al Gore’s Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report, May 25, 1999, p. 6)

Despite Gore’s Statements Indicating That He Has No Control Over His Mother’s Occidental Stock, Activists Don’t Buy His Argument. "The activists reject Mr. Gore’s argument that he can’t unload the stock because it belongs to his mother. ‘This is rubbish in my mind,’ says Steve Kretzmann, a consultant with Amazon Watch who has been in a talks with Mr. Gore and his representatives. ‘He’s the executor of the estate.’"
(Helene Cooper, "Gore Faces Embarrassing Protests About Family’s Occidental Shares," Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2000)

The Activists Are Right, Gore Had Sole And Unfettered Control Over The Assets Of His Father’s Estate For 16 Months. Gore’s father died on December 5, 1998. Under the terms of his father’s will, Gore was appointed executor of his father’s estate. On December 9, 1998, Gore filed his oath as executor. In a subsequent court filing, Gore "admitted that as of February 14, 2000, the trust for mother’s benefit had not been funded. On March 9, 2000, the Court appointed his brother-in-law, Frank Hunger to serve as "alternate trustee." So for a period of 16 consecutive months
(December 9, 1998 through March 9, 2000), Gore had sole and unfettered control over the assets of his father’s estate (which included the Oxy stock and the dividends paid thereon)." (Estate of Albert Gore, Sr., Smith County Probate Court, Case No. P-867)

Gore’s Claim That He Does Not "Control" The Occidental Stock Rings Hollow. In response to an on-line question about the Occidental stock, Gore denied that he could do anything with the holding:

Vice President Gore: "Actually, I don't own any stock in Occidental. Nor do I ‘control’ any stock. When my father died 18 months ago, I was named ‘executor’ of his estate -- a position which has one and only one duty: to see that the terms of the will are abided by. In discharging that responsibility I saw to it that the stock he left for the benefit of my mother was transferred to a Trust that is supposed to provide for her and her care. The trustee has the responsibility of managing the assets of the trust (which is about $500,000). I do not." (Gore On-Line Forum with The Washington Post, July 10, 2000)

Frank Hunger, Gore's brother-in-law, was appointed trustee over Pauline Gore's trust, which "controls" all the Oxy stock. Surely Gore cannot claim with a straight face that he can't sell the Oxy stock when Hunger, "has become a virtual brother to Gore since Gore's sister died," is a member of his closest political advisors known as Gore’s "kitchen cabinet" and participated in all of the final meetings regarding Gore’s selection of a vice presidential running mate. (Laurence McQuillan and Susan Page, "Gore Family, Aides Assist Decision," USA Today, August 8, 2000)

Occidental’s Chief Armand Hammer "Was As Cozy With Gore Jr. As He Was With Gore Sr." "According to Neil Lyndon, who worked on Hammer’s personal staff and ghosted his memoirs, Witness to History, the Occidental chieftain was as cozy with Gore Jr. as he was with Gore Sr. When he came to Washington, Hammer regularly met Gore [Jr.] for lunch or dinner. ‘They would often eat together in the company of Occidental’s Washington lobbyists and fixers who, on Hammer’s behest, hosed tens of millions of dollars in bribes and favours into the political world,’ Lyndon writes."
(Ken Silverstein, "Gore’s Oil Money; Occidental Petroleum and United States Foreign Policy in Colombia," The Nation, May 22, 2000)

Occidental Was One Of Gore’s Earliest Backers. Occidental Petroleum President William McSweeney was one of Gore’s earliest campaign contributors, dating back as far as Gore’s first congressional race.
(Bill Turque, Inventing Al Gore, 2000, p. 124) 

Occidental Has Continued To Fund Gore And The Democratic Party. Occidental has continued to be one of Al Gore’s major financial backers. Occidental loaned $100,000 to the 1992 Presidential Inaugural Committee while Gore was Vice President-elect. Furthermore, Occidental contributed $50,000 to the Democratic Party in response to a Gore fundraising phone call and $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee two days after Occidental Chairman Ray Irani spent the night in the Lincoln Bedroom. According to the Center for Public Integrity’s book, The Buying of the President, Occidental has contributed "more than $470,000 in soft money to various Democratic committees and causes" since 1992.
(Charles Lewis, The Buying of the President 2000, pp. 151-152)

Throughout His Career, Gore Has Secured Special Access And Privileges To Occidental, His Major Financial Backer. Gore’s political offices allowed him to secure special favors for his Occidental backers, including Occidental’s late Chairman Armand Hammer and Ray Irani, its current Chairman. Among the benefits conferred on Armand Hammer were prestigious invitations to the inaugurations of Ronald Reagan in 1985 and George Bush in 1989. After Hammer’s death in 1990, Gore continued his relationship with Occidental through Ray Irani. Not only did Gore have Irani invited to the second official state dinner held in honor of President Boris Yeltsin in 1994, he also placed Irani as part of a trade mission to Russia with Commerce Secretary Ron Brown in the spring of 1994.
(Charles Lewis, The Buying of the President 2000, pp. 151-152)

GORE CHOSE THE CONCERNS OF OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM OVER THE PUBLIC INTEREST

Gore Chose To Protect Occidental’s Interest In Synthetic Fuels Despite The Warnings Of Environmentalists. Occidental Petroleum, along with the oil company Tenneco, controls "over 5,000 acres of prime oil shale land in western Colorado’s Piceance Basin, which contains the world’s largest known reserves of oil shale."
(Ellen Haddow, "Occidental Delays Shale Oil Project," The Associated Press, December 21, 1981) Oil shale is a prime component in the production of synthetic fuels, which environmentalists, such as the Sierra Club, have decried as "environmentally extremely dangerous, economically unsupportable, [and]. . . greatly disrupt[ive] [of] our economy." (Sierra Club Website, "Oil Shale and Synthetic Fuels Policy," adopted July 21, 1979) On four key votes, the League of Conservation Voters determined that Gore sided with the interests of synthetic fuel supporters, such as Occidental, against the concerns of environmentalists:

  • Gore voted against an amendment that "would have prevented the federal government from promoting massive synthetic fuel development for commercial use." (CQ Vote #258: Rejected 69-351: R 45-108; D 24-243, June 26, 1979; "How Congress Voted on Energy and the Environment," League of Conservation Voters, 1979)

  • Gore voted to authorize $20 billion to encourage development of synthetic fuels. (CQ Vote #336: Adopted 317-93: R 85-65; D 232-28, June 26, 1980)
  • Gore voted to rescind $5 billion from the U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corporation to prevent the adoption of an amendment that would have rescinded $10 billion. (CQ Vote #308: Adopted 236-177: R 67-94; D 169-83, August 2, 1984)

  • Gore voted to table (kill) an amendment that would have rescinded all but $500,000,001 in unobligated funds from the U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corporation, excluding $500 million that would have been transferred to the Clean Coal Technology Reserve. (CQ Vote #270: Motion Rejected 41-58: R 22-31; D 19-27, October 31, 1985)

The Administration Chose To Protect Occidental’s Interests In Sudan Instead Of National Security. Sudan is clearly a state that is an enemy of the United States. Not only has Sudan frequently been on the State Department’s list of terrorist-supporting states, but the Administration also actively supports rebel groups attempting to overthrow its government. ("Oil Deals and Arms Sales," The New York Times, January 28, 1997) Despite this, within months of signing the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, the Administration granted Occidental a waiver to the prohibitions on financial transactions with rogue states that sponsor terrorism. (David B. Ottaway, "GOP Targets Sudan Loophole Administration Approval of Transactions with Khartoum Prompts Scrutiny," The Washington Post, February 7, 1997) This waiver allowed Occidental Petroleum to explore several potential oil deposits in Sudan. ("Oil Deals and Arms Sales," The New York Times, January 28, 1997)


Gore’s Big Oil Contributions From PACs And Individuals, Including $4,000 From Occidental Chief Armand Hammer.

PAC Year Amount
Occidental Petroleum 1990 $550
Burlington Resources 1990 $250
Burlington Resources 1986 $500
Burlington Resources 1984 $750
USX Corporation PAC 1984 $500
PAC Total $2,550

Individual Profession 


Kreidler, David Michael 
Occidental Oil and Gas Corp.  
June 16, 2000 $1,000

Janssen, Judith M. Ms. 
Exxon Mobile Corp./Attorney   
June 7,   2000    $ 250

Hayden, Ludwick Mr. Jr.
Chevron          
June 30, 1999 $1,000

Duck, William G. 
Chevron Corp.            
May 21, 1999 $1,000

Irani, Ray R. 
Occidental Petroleum/CEO 
April 6,  1999 $1,000

Irani, Ray R. 
Occidental Petroleum/CEO  
March 31, 1999 $1,000

McGee, Robert
Occidental Intl. Corp./Busin
March 31, 1999 $1,000

Laurance, Dale R.
Occidental Petroleum Corp./Pres. 
March 31, 1999 $1,000

Chazen, Stephen
Occidental Petroleum Corp./Exec. 
March 31, 1999 $1,000

Ahnell, Arden 
BP Amoco/Manager 
March 23, 1999 $1,000

Fagre, Nathan
Occidental Oil and Gas Corp.
March 17, 1999 $1,000

Hammer, Armand Dr. 
Occidental Petroleum Corp.
Aug. 30, 1990 $1,000

Irani, Ray R. 
Occidental Petroleum Corp. 
Aug. 20, 1990 $ 500 

Stern, Alfred
Occidental Petroleum 
Aug. 20, 1990 $ 500

Date Amount


Stern, Gerald M.
Occidental Petroleum Corp. 
Aug. 20, 1990 $1,000

Hammer, Armand Dr.
Occidental Petroleum Corp. 
June 26, 1989 $1,000

Wood, Robert L. Jr. Mr. 
Occidental Oil and Gas Corp. J
uly 29, 1988 $1,000

Irani, Ray Dr. 
Occidental Petroleum Corp. 
July 19, 1988 $1,000

McSweeny, William F. Mr. 
Occidental Intl. Corp. 
Feb. 23, 1988 $ 500

Ajamian, Florence Ms.
Occidental Petroleum Corp. 
June 18, 1987 $ 500

Hammer, Armand Dr. 
Occidental Petroleum 
June 18, 1987 $1,000

Hammer, Michael Armand 
Occidental Petroleum Corp. 
June 18, 1987 $1,000

Irani, Ray R. Mr. 
Occidental Petroleum Corp. 
June 18, 1987 $1,000

Jacobs, Richard Mr. 
Occidental Petroleum Corp. 
June 18, 1987 $1,000

Patrick, William N. Mr.
  Occidental Petroleum Corp. 
June 18, 1987 $1,000

Stern, Gerald M. Mr. 
Occidental Petroleum Corp. 
June 18, 1987 $1,000

Stern, Gerald 
Occidental Petroleum. 
April 24, 1984 $1,000 

Tomich, Rosemary E. 
Occidental Petroleum 
Feb. 6, 1984 $ 500

Hammer, Armand 
Occidental Petroleum 
March 16, 1983 $1,000


Total For Individuals $24,750 Grand Total $27,300

         

GORE CONTINUES TO SUPPORT BIG OIL THROUGH HIS SILENCE ON OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING

Once Again, Gore Is Promising To Ban Offshore Oil Drilling. In a television political ad on ocean drilling aired in November of 1999, Gore promised: "I’ll not only continue the moratorium on new ocean drilling off California’s coast and Florida’s, but I’ll move to stop drilling in those areas already leased by previous administrations."
("Presidential Candidates Air Campaign Ads In New Hampshire, Iowa And South Carolina, Federal News Service, November 29, 2000) This was not a new Gore promise. In 1992, Gore made a similar promise: "I think that a ban on offshore drilling ought to be extended on the [sic] to all of the coastal waters of the United States." (Timothy Noah, "Campaign ‘92: Gore Treads Softly as Environmental Point Man, Fearing GOP Efforts to Label Him an Extremist," The Wall Street Journal, September 16, 1992)

Despite Gore’s Promises, He Has Refused To Get Involved In A Pending Offshore Drilling Case Involving Chevron. According to his staff, Vice President Gore cannot get involved in a pending decision that would allow Chevron to drill Florida’s first producing offshore wells, maintaining that the decision is Commerce Secretary William Daley’s. According to Eliot Diringer of the White House Council on Environmental Equality, "it wouldn’t be appropriate for the White House to be weighing in. The Secretary has to base his opinion on the record before him."
(Craig Pittman, "Chevron One Nod From Gulf Drilling," St. Petersburg Times, September 26, 1999) The St. Petersberg Times expressed the outrage of many Floridians: "Now Gore gives signs of trying to back out of his own promise. . . [o]pposing offshore drilling may have been a cheap campaign promise for Gore, but millions of Floridians take the issue very seriously and have long memories." (Editorial, "Gore’s Promise," St. Petersburg Times, September 29, 1999) (emphasis added)

Chevron Is A Key Gore Financial Backer. Chevron has contributed large amounts of soft money to Gore and his party. According to records on file with the Federal Election Commission, Chevron Corporation has given in excess of $346,000 in soft money donations to the Democrats from 1997 to the present.
(FEC Info Website, www.tray.com, June 27, 2000) In addition, in 1999 Gore accepted $1,000 contributions for his presidential bid from two Chevron officials, Ludwick Hayden and William Duck. (FEC Info Website, www.tray.com, June 27, 2000)

Gore Has Refused To Oppose New Oil Leases. Just weeks after Gore pledged to ban all drilling off the coasts of Florida and California, Clinton/Gore Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt made a decision that would give oil companies more time to work on exploration and development plans. Gore sat by quietly while Babbitt extended 36 undeveloped oil leases.
(Lynda Gledhill, "California Sues U.S. Government Over Offshore Oil," San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, 1999) That action prompted the Governor of California to sue the Clinton/Gore Administration in federal court for preliminary and permanent injunctions against the Interior Department’s actions pending a review by the California Coastal Commission (CCC). (Lynda Gledhill, "California Sues U.S. Government Over Offshore Oil," San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, 1999) 

Bradley Calls Gore’s Offshore Bluff. Gore’s campaign promises simply don’t match the Clinton/Gore Administration’s record on offshore drilling. Bill Bradley pointed out this fact during a campaign appearance in California. The former senator said that Gore "should have done more. . ." (Tessie Borden, "Bradley Criticizes Gore for not Pushing Ban in New Offshore Oil Drilling," The Associated Press, November 19, 1999) Bradley disagreed with Secretary Babbitt’s decision noting that "it came while Gore is in office" and "just weeks after Gore pledged to ban all drilling off the coasts of California and Florida if elected." (Tessie Borden, "Bradley Criticizes Gore For Not Pushing Ban In New Offshore Oil Drilling," The Associated Press, November 19, 1999) Bradley said that it showed that Gore is either "inefficient or. . . not really against it." (Tessie Borden, "Bradley Criticizes Gore For Not Pushing Ban In New Offshore Oil Drilling," The Associated Press, November 19, 1999)

Source: Republican National Committee


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