Rachel Reilich

Editor's Note: GOOD's parent company is a proud partner with Global Witness, sharing stories of their mission challenging abuses of power to protect human rights and secure the future of our planet.

There's one major oil corporation that touts itself as, " the human energy company ." Like many good slogans, the meaning deepens with double-entendre: "human" serves as an adjective twice, both to humanize their business, and describe the kind of energy in which it deals: human energy. People power. The stuff of "creativity and ingenuity."

The company in question is, of course, Chevron, and—as a brief scan of their website reveals—they're really into this "human" angle. On their homepage alone, they offer up lines like, "it's only human to want a better life," "powering human progress takes energy," and, "our greatest resource is our people."

That sounds nice. But if behind the scenes, a company continues to pollute and fail safety measures, funding politicians who roll back pro-environment policy and questioning climate change, the slogan acquires a darker tinge. If a company that prioritizes profit over public health it doesn't generate human energy so much as consume it—depleting the original source.

For a salient example, look no further than Richmond, California, Chevron's home base since 1902, where health conditions disproportionately impact residents. According to a recent Global Witness report , Children have roughly twice the rate of asthma as in neighboring areas, and communities bordering Chevron's facility are in the 99th percentile for respiratory illness. Organizers have long fought for their health and safety, battling in the courts to try and hold Chevron to account for pollution violations and failed safety measures. But Chevron remains largely impervious, arguably because of the political and legal influence they buy.

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