Public Perceptions of Endron

To most Garou, Endron is recognized as a sinister entity – an arm of the corrupting influence of the Wyrm, a force bent on destruction and decay. It is not merely a matter of industrial pollution and corporate bullying, but a spiritual and existential threat to the balance of the world.

To the public eye, Endron International appears as a typical, albeit enormous, multinational oil corporation, with a contentious history of past environmental disregard and aggressive litigation, which in recent decades has been increasingly buried under a re-branding charm offensive. It is often seen battling cities and local governments to protect its interests, leveraging its considerable resources and political influence to overcome grassroots opposition. Ultimately, the WoD public views it as a powerful entity that is intertwined with the economic and political fabric of Los Angeles. Which make it more important than the homeless of Skid Row, however regrettably.

This dichotomy between the public perception and the werewolves’ knowledge of Endron’s true nature is a major challenge for the Garou Nation to overcome.

Endron in Los Angeles

Los Angeles had oil wells pumping in its neighborhoods when Hollywood was in its infancy, and thousands of active wells still dot the city. These wells can emit toxic chemicals such as benzene and other irritants into the air for decades after they’re no longer productive, often just feet from homes, schools and parks. Today there are over 20,000 active, idle or abandoned wells spread across a county of 10 million people. About one-third of residents live less than a mile from an active well site, some right next door.

Endron’s operations in Los Angeles can be traced back to the early 20th century, an era that mirrored the city’s own tumultuous romance with oil. Around the time when Edward L. Doheny struck black gold near what is now Dodger Stadium, marking the inception of the Los Angeles oil boom, Endron Oil (the main American subsidiary of Endron International) established itself as one of the first oil companies to set up operations in the city.

Oil was abundant and flowed close to the surface. In early 20th-century California, sparse laws governed mineral extraction, and rights to oil accrued to those who could pull it out of the ground first. This ushered in a period of rampant drilling, with wells and associated machinery crisscrossing the landscape. By the mid-1920s, Los Angeles was one of the largest oil-exporting regions in the world. Oil rigs were so pervasive across the region that the Los Angeles Tribune described them in 1930 as “trees in a forest.”

From that moment, Endron grew in tandem with the city. As Los Angeles expanded its roads and highways, the city’s burgeoning car culture demanded an endless supply of gasoline. Endron, as a primary provider, grew exponentially, capitalizing on this demand and integrating itself into the very fabric of Los Angeles’ development. Working-class communities were initially supportive of the industry because it promised jobs but later pushed back as their neighborhoods witnessed explosions and oil spills, along with longer-term damage to land, water and human health.

Endron set up massive refineries along the coast, becoming an essential part of the city’s industrial landscape. Their operations were characterized by a sprawling network of oil wells and derricks, not only in the outskirts but also within city limits. In fact, they mirrored the unique situation in LA, where oil wells could be found in odd locations like shopping center parking lots or tucked away behind high schools.

By the mid-20th century, Endron was already a major player in the city’s economy and political landscape, influencing regulatory policy decisions. This influence has rarely, if ever been used for the public good, and the company has faced allegations of environmental negligence where its refinery operations are concerned.

One notable incident involved an Endron oil spill off the coast of Santa Monica in the 1970s, (our in-universe version of the RL 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill). This catastrophic event wreaked havoc on the local marine life and led to a public outcry, forcing the company to take remedial actions, albeit reluctantly. In another incident, communities around Endron’s LA refineries complained of health issues, especially around Carson and Rancho Dominguez.

Tensions over land use, extraction rights and subsequent drops in oil prices due to overproduction eventually resulted in curbs on drilling and a long-standing practice of oil companies’ voluntary “self-regulation,” such as noise-reduction technologies. The industry began touting these voluntary approaches to deflect governmental regulation. Increasingly, oil companies disguised their activities with approaches such as operating inside buildings, building tall walls and designing islands off Long Beach and other sites to blend in with the landscape. Oil drilling was hidden in plain sight.

As the city began to grapple with its environmental consciousness in the 1990s, Endron, too, was compelled to clean up its act, at least superficially. Since the 2000s, the advance of extractive technologies to access harder-to-reach deposits has led to a resurgence of oil extraction activities. As extraction in some neighborhoods has ramped up, people living in South Los Angeles and other neighborhoods in oil fields have noticed frequent odors, nosebleeds and headaches.

Today, Endron’s legacy is deeply interwoven with that of Los Angeles. From the oily sheen on the city’s beaches to the derricks that dot its skyline, the remnants of the company’s long and complicated history are present everywhere. Despite public pushback and environmental concerns (especially since the events of the Skid Row Chemical Fire – +bbread 6/5, 6/6 and 6/7), Endron remains a major force in the city’s economic landscape, a testament to the enduring power of the energy industry in Los Angeles.

Current Events: Endron Oil vs Los Angeles

The complex legal history between Endron Oil (the main American subsidiary of Endron International, although no longer its biggest moneymaker) and various cities and municipalities presents a pattern of Endron’s aggressive legal strategies to safeguard its business interests. These strategies have often resulted in a significant tilt in the balance of power towards the corporation, especially in locations with less economic resources to mount a substantial legal defense. The ongoing litigation between Endron Oil and the city of Los Angeles is a case study in these tactics, as well as the unique political dynamics and economic pressures that drive the decisions of the city.

Despite its significant financial resources, the city of Los Angeles has long been in a precarious position, burdened by numerous competing interests, a contentious relationship between the mayor and the ‘Five Kings’ of the Board of Supervisors, and the fact that many of its wealthiest corporations and residents are technically located in neighboring cities. Endron Oil, with its headquarters in Carson, Los Angeles County, has managed to navigate this complex landscape to its advantage.

Over the past century, Endron Oil has been a major player in Los Angeles County, solidifying its power through its significant economic contributions and influence over local politics. The corporation’s dominance is not just economic; it’s also geographical, with oil derricks marking its presence throughout the county.

Recently, however, the balance of power between Endron Oil and the city of Los Angeles has been challenged following an explosion at an old warehouse in Skid Row. In the aftermath of this incident, the corporation offered to assist the city in its emergency response, bringing in its own private security teams in response to perceived inadequacies in the LAPD’s response. This decision was met with significant backlash from the local public, leading to spontaneous protests and a rupture in relations between Endron’s security services and the LAPD. Following this fallout, Endron Oil withdrew from the project and initiated a lawsuit against the city.

The shock of this aggressive legal action has left the city struggling to fill the void left by Endron Oil, with cleanup efforts stalling due to a lack of contractors willing to risk crossing the oil giant. In the meantime, public perception of the situation in Skid Row, which is being heavily influenced by major media outlets and local politicians, is further complicating the situation.

As the legal proceedings are being prepared, the outcome remains uncertain, with a best-case scenario suggesting it could take two to three years for a final verdict. The upcoming 2022 city elections could also significantly impact the proceedings, as new lobby groups and interest groups could rise to power.

Representing Endron Oil in this case is the powerful law firm Kilroy, Young & Lee, known for its strong ties to high-ranking political figures and its extensive international reach. Given the law firm’s long-standing relationship with Endron Oil and its track record of success, it is anticipated that the upcoming court battles will be fiercely contested, with the city of Los Angeles being forced to mount a considerable defense to protect its interests against this corporate titan.

Scandals, Rumors & Conspiracy Theories

  • Endron International (of which Endron Oil is its main American subsidiary) maintains a slick public façade of a successful multinational oil corporation, yet is shrouded in a near-impenetrable veil of secrecy. There are however a few conspiracy theorists, and sweaty online forums dedicated to whistleblowers and investigative journalists trying to piece together the corporation’s dealings. These forums detail instances of environmental destruction, corporate malfeasance, and questionable labor practices.
  • One of the most shocking instances involves an oil spill (reminiscent of the RL Exxon Valdez incident), but it had taken place on an even more massive scale in the North Sea in 1989. The Endron-operated oil tanker, the Neptune’s Despair, ran aground, spilling millions of gallons of oil into the surrounding marine ecosystem. Despite the clear negligence on Endron’s part, the corporation managed to evade full responsibility due to its powerful legal team and deep governmental connections.
  • Then there’s the infamous 2001 scandal where Endron is alleged to have manipulated the oil and gas prices during a harsh winter, (This is similar to the RL role that Enron played, which along with Shell and Chevron, the WoD Endron is an evil amalgamation of) played in the California electricity crisis. During one of the coldest winters in recent memory, Endron reportedly capitalized on the suffering of others by driving prices to crippling heights. Thousands of families were left without heat, resulting in numerous preventable deaths.
  • Endron’s operation in West Africa has drawn significant criticism from human rights organizations. The company has a sizable presence there, with pipelines, drilling operations, and refineries dotting the landscape. The local population is left dealing with the environmental aftermath, with water sources polluted and farmland left unusable due to oil leaks.
  • Interestingly, Endron employs an inordinate number of private security contractors and militias to guard their facilities and pipelines in these regions. Some internet sleuths claim that the number of personnel working for Endron’s security worldwide exceeds even the size of the U.S. Army. This alarming fact has caused some to speculate about Endron’s potential for wielding military power and exerting political influence on a global scale. Unsettling reports from these regions suggest that the company’s security forces have been implicated in a number of human rights abuses. These accusations include indiscriminate violence, harassment, and even torture of locals who oppose Endron’s activities (this is usually carried out by local militia proxies).
  • In the digital catacombs of the dark web, you’ll find accounts from former employees of Endron who share stories about the company’s ruthless corporate culture. They speak of a “profit at any cost” mentality, reminiscent of corporations during the Gilded Age, but with a modern, multinational reach.
  • There are multiple instances where Endron has faced lawsuits related to the health impacts of their operations. These lawsuits often involve local communities seeking compensation for the damage done to their health and their land. However, Endron has managed to dodge most of these lawsuits, largely due to their extensive legal resources and strategic use of legal loopholes. (See 10/2 and 10/2.1 for more stuff like this. Or google about things like Chevron in Ecuador or Shell in Carson, IRL.)
  • A number of online conspiracy theories suggest that Endron has its hands in global politics, (much like the influence oil giants such as Shell and BP wield in RL). There are whispers of the corporation influencing policy decisions, rigging bids for oil fields, and even having a hand in toppling unfriendly regimes. While these claims are often dismissed as conspiracy theories, they remain a persistent part of Endron’s online image. As well as various things like ‘Who killed the Hydrogen car’ etc. Although, they seem really into EVs now (which ironically, have an even worse environmental impact than fossil fuels if you follow the whole supply chain).
  • Amidst all this, Endron continues to present a pristine image to the world, with well-crafted PR campaigns extolling their commitment to “sustainable energy practices” and “community development.” They sponsor major sports events, contribute to charities, and have even established the Endron Foundation, supposedly to fund environmental initiatives. But there are those who’ve seen the grim reality behind the shiny façade.