Brazil: Amazonia and Al Gore


In connection with the map of Brazil which showed half of the country taken over by the US. I asked WAISers to check the statement attributed to Al Gore: "Contrary to what the Brazilians think, Amazonia does not belong to them. It belongs to all of us". Randy Black comments: Al Gore and his father have been beneficiaries of Occidental Petroleum/Armand Hammer for decades. It was Gore, Jr. who refused to comment or object to the billion dollar oil development by Occidental in the Amazon region. The same projects not only damaged the region but damaged the habitat of local indigenous tribes. Gore continues to own millions in Occidental stock.
 
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)
 
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 <http://> , 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 <http://www.tray.com/> , June 27, 2000,

RH: Clearly Randy does not like Al Gore, but I am amused that he quotes the leftist The Nation to support his case. However, what he says has little relevance to the Gore quote, which presumably referred to  the Brazilian rain forest as being necessary for the global climate.  It is possible that Gore was being two-faced.  As for petroleum, the Brazilians are desperate for it.  Hence the offer of Hugo Chaves to divert Venezuelan oil from the US to Brazil. However, they are suspicious of American oil companies.  I can imagine a Brazilian nationalist reading what Randy says and exclaiming "You see! The Americans admit our charges are correct". We are still waiting for the source of the quote attributed to Al Gore.  Incidentally, I deeply regret tht the oil industry has not only damaged Texas but damaged the habitat of local indigenous tribes.



Ronald Hilton 2004

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last updated: February 27, 2005