Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘Shell’

Arctic Death March

Gabriel-

Instead of seeing warning signs, big oil and the government are seeing dollar signs in the melting Arctic.

There’s still time to stop the drilling, but we need 1,635 supporters from California to raise $100,000 by our December 31 deadline to make it happen.

Can you chip in to help save polar bear cubs from starvation?

A polar bear cub struggles to keep up with its mom. She’s searching for sea ice to hunt for food, but the swim is too far. The cub doesn’t make it. It was a common story this year in the Arctic.

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Soon there might be nowhere left to swim. This year Arctic sea ice reached its lowest level in recorded history and if current trends continue there could be no summer sea ice at all in the next decade.

But instead of seeing warning signs in the melting ice, big oil and the government are seeing dollar signs. Shell has been given permits to drill in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas of the Arctic. If we burn the oil under the Arctic, it will spell the end for the polar bear.

Please make a year-end gift right now and help us raise $100,000 by midnight December 31 to save polar bear cubs from a melting Arctic. We need just 1,635 donors from California to make this happen.

We have to stop the drilling before it’s too late.

Shell’s plans have already been put on hold until next year thanks to Mother Nature, the company’s own incompetence and the success of our global campaign. Now is our opportunity to make sure they don’t get the chance to go back.

In the last week alone we’ve flooded the White House with over 50,000 messages asking President Obama to suspend Shell’s drilling permits and call a ‘timeout’ on Arctic drilling. Now we need your financial support to ramp up our campaign around the world calling for the creation of a global sanctuary in the high Arctic.

We’re running a worldwide campaign to create a sanctuary in the uninhabited area around the North Pole off limits to industrialization. And this spring we’ll be leading an expedition to the North Pole and planting a ‘Flag for the Future’ there. The flag will send a message of peace, hope and global community and will be designed by the world’s youth as part of an international competition. A stark contrast to the flags planted by nation states fighting over the exploitation of resources.

We’ll also be taking a time capsule to the North Pole containing the names of the over two million people who added their name to our Arctic Scroll. Once there, we will lower it four kilometers beneath the ice and plant it on the seabed as a symbol for all humanity.

None of this is possible without your support. Please make a year-end gift today to help save polar bears cubs once and for all, protect the environment and ensure that we reach our goal of $100,000 by December 31.

Greenpeace is completely independent. We don’t take a dime from corporations or governments. That means we can do whatever is needed to protect the environment. It also means we completely rely on donors like you making a gift today to support all of our campaigns.

Thanks for all you do,

Philip Radford
Greenpeace USA Executive Director

The Clock Is Ticking

Dear Gabriel,

The EPA has yet to issue a decision on Shell’s last minute bait and switch on the air pollution rules it agreed to for its arctic drilling rigs.

But the clock is ticking. Final approvals must come by the 15th of August.

That means either the EPA will be pressured to cave before then and let Shell write its own rules, or — if we can create enough pressure for EPA to draw a line — we could stop Shell from drilling in the Arctic this summer.

Please make a call right now to urge EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to stand strong for the protection of our Arctic. Click here for a simple script and number to call.

Given the recent history of deepwater offshore drilling, and Shell’s track record so far — which includes losing control of one of its drilling rigs2 — the stakes for the pristine Arctic Ocean are all too real.

In a twist of irony, even as most of the country suffers from the hottest summer on record, Arctic sea ice has been slow to melt this year.3 The condition of the sea ice, combined with Shell’s repeated backtracking on its commitments, including on its oil spill response plan and with EPA and the Coast Guard, have prevented Shell’s final approval from moving forward.

If the Obama Administration approves drilling this summer, Shell will be especially rushed to drill before the sea ice forms again in October. But if the EPA draws the line now, we can protect the Arctic for at least one more year.

What happens in the next few days will shape EPA’s decision. Please make a call now.

Thank you for defending the Arctic.

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

375 Million in Daily Profits!

From Nation of Change and Think Progress.

What Five Oil Companies did With Their $375 Million in Daily Profits
by Rebecca Leber
25 July 2012

The Big Five oil companies – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell – are slated to announce their 2012 second-quarter profits later this week.

We can expect these companies, all of which rank in the top 10 of the “Fortune 500 Global Ranking,” to reveal billions of dollars more in profits, after earning $375 million in profits per day in 2011 ($261,000 per minute), and $368 million per day in the first three-months of 2012 — bringing their combined profits to $1 trillion from 2001 through 2011.

Below is a quick look at just how much these Big Oil companies are making, and where they are spending their billions in profits.

Big Oil’s Big Profits, In 24 Hours

The five biggest oil companies earned a combined profit of $375 million per day, or a record $137 billion profit for the year, in 2011, despite reducing their oil production.

In 60 seconds, these five companies earned $261,000 — more than 96 percent of American households make in one year.

These five oil companies received $6.6 million in federal tax breaks every day.

In 2011, the three largest domestic public oil companies spent $100 million of their profits each day, or over 50 percent, buying back their own stock to enrich their board, senior managers, and largest share holders.

The entire oil and gas industry spent on average $400,000 each day lobbying senators and representatives to weaken public health safeguards and keep big oil tax breaks, totaling nearly $150 million.

Each CEO of the Big Five companies received an average of $60,110 in compensation per day last year. On average, their pay jumped 55 percent in 2011. Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s compensation came close to $100,000 per day last year.

Millions in Political Contributions and Lobbying

Despite ranking as some of the most successful companies in the world, big oil and gas companies continue to receive $4 billion in tax breaks each year.

The oil and gas industry has already given over $30.5 million in federal campaign contributions this year, with a whopping 88 percent going to Republicans.

Big Oil has spent an additional $37 million on lobbying Congress this year, with the top spenders being Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Koch Industries and BP.

Their efforts are paying off. This is the most anti-environment Congress in history, with the House of Representatives averaging one anti-environment vote per day, or a total 247 votes through mid-June. The biggest beneficiary of these votes has been Big Oil. The House voted to enrich the oil and gas industry 109 times, a total 44 percent of its anti-environment votes.

The House is on track to collect a record amount of oil industry contributions this cycle, having already reached 2008 and 2010 levels. And these are direct donations only — it does not include Super PAC spending or other campaign assistance.

Outside Interests and Big Oil Allies Spending Tens of Millions More to Influence the Energy Debate

Fueled by Koch Industries and other Big Oil interests, the industry is spending hundreds of millions to fund false ads in this year’s elections. According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, 85 percent of the dollars have funded false ad, during a season where most advertising have focused on energy.

Pro-Romney outside interest groups spent $24.6 million on energy ads through June 24, according to Kantar Media CMAG data. This is more than ten-times the amount spent by pro-Obama groups, which spent $2.3 million on energy spots.

Read entire story at Nation of Change.

Spill Baby Spill – Arctic Oil

Dear Gabriel,

Weeks away from starting the first major offshore oil drilling operations in the Arctic, Shell is pulling a major bait and switch — telling the EPA it can’t meet the air pollution rules the company had already agreed to in order to get a drilling permit.

Shell has known since 2010 it would have problems meeting the rules for nitrogen oxide and ammonia emissions. But officials still told the EPA they could. Now Shell wants the EPA to weaken the rules at the last minute?

It’s clear that Shell simply cannot be trusted. The company’s request gives the EPA the option to cancel Shell’s permit. That’s exactly what EPA must do.

This is our last, best opportunity to block Shell from drilling in the Arctic this summer.

Tell EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson: Reject Shell’s permit to drill in the Arctic. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

This bait and switch is the latest in a long list of broken promises, walk-backs and mishaps which should serve as clear signs to the Obama Administration that allowing Shell to drill in the Arctic is a recipe for disaster.

Just this weekend, Shell literally lost control of its Discoverer drilling rig, which either ran aground or very nearly did so, when its anchor broke while harbored a thousand miles south of the Arctic. Moderate winds are being blamed — yet these winds are mild compared to what it will encounter in the Arctic. The rig, one of the oldest in the world, had a similar anchor malfunction just last year, while it was stationed in New Zealand.

Shell is also having problems with its nearly forty-year-old oil spill recovery barge. While Shell promised the Coast Guard it would upgrade it substantially to withstand stronger weather, Shell now says those upgrades aren’t necessary. The Coast Guard hasn’t yet decided if it will weaken these standards for Shell.

And of course — while we’ve known for some time that the Obama Administration was being hoodwinked by Shell’s hopelessly inadequate oil spill response plan — now Shell has come out and admitted its initial spill response claims were overstated. Shell initially said it could “recover” 95% of oil in the case of a major spill. Now Shell is saying that what it actually meant is “encounter” 95% of the oil — whatever that means.5

Tell EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson: Reject Shell’s permit to drill in the Arctic. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

Shockingly, the Department of Interior has put the probability of an oil spill in the Arctic at 40%.

That is simply unacceptable. With Shell in the driver’s seat, it’s clear that it would be unwise to even bank on those unacceptably high odds.

Shell’s request to EPA is a major opportunity for President Obama and the EPA to revisit the undeserved trust they have put in Shell thus far. It’s time for EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to be a hero, and draw a line to stop the next major drilling disaster in the Arctic.

With Shell hoping to start drilling as soon as the Arctic sea ice clears in the coming weeks, EPA’s response could come any day. Click here to automatically add your name to the petition now.

Thank you for defending the Arctic from reckless offshore drilling.

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Oil & Wildlife Don’t Mix

Gabriel,

The Arctic fox is in a losing battle to survive in a warming climate. According to experts, their presence in the Arctic indicates a healthy arctic ecosystem. Unfortunately if Shell gets its way, this ecosystem — and the Arctic fox who call it home — will be forever changed.

Oil industry Giant Shell is halfway to the Arctic to begin exploratory drilling in a region that has gone largely untouched for many years. Exploratory drilling has a high probability of leakage and accidents, and in the remote Arctic there is little chance they could contain a spill.

Should a spill occur, the oil giant’s clean up ‘plan’ is, pun intended, a hollow shell.

We have a plan to stop them, but we’ll need your help. We’re halfway to our goal of raising $100,000 by midnight July 18th. Help support our campaign to save the Arctic and protect our planet by making an urgent gift right now.

What’s our plan? It’s simple. Greenpeace has already mobilized more than half a million people around the world to help save the Arctic.

Celebrities such as Penelope Cruz, Jude Law and Sir Paul McCartney and others have also added their names to our “Arctic Scroll” petition as a symbol of their determination to save the Arctic. Once we reach a million we’re going to take those names, put it on a flag with all the others and plant it at the bottom of the sea 4 km beneath the North Pole.

But that’s not all. The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is on the way to the Arctic right now. We’ll be launching a scientific dive — the first of its kind — to find out what’s actually happening below the surface. We will also continue to expose Shell in the news and social media as well as educate the public about the Arctic.

And just two days ago, we joined with several of our colleagues to challenge filing suit to challenge Shell’s oil spill response plan. We’re in this for the long haul. We need your support.

The fact is Shell isn’t prepared for a disaster in the Arctic Ocean. No one is. With constant high seas, icebergs and massive waves, there’s no way to effectively clean up an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean. Even the head of the US Coast Guard has publicly admitted that his agency would have little chance of dealing with a spill in the frozen Arctic on their own.

We can’t wait for this to happen. Make a gift right now to support our work in the Arctic. Just 375 more gifts from supporters in California to help make that happen.

This is one of the biggest campaigns we’ve ever undertaken. Shell has tried to bully Greenpeace and people like you to keep us quiet and silence our campaign. But we refuse to stand by while they and other oil industry giants destroy the Arctic and our planet.

Greenpeace doesn’t take a dime from corporations or governments. All we care about is doing what is necessary to save the Arctic. But our plans and the polar bears that call the Arctic home all depend on your support. We’re halfway there. Help support our long-term campaign by making a donation today.

Thanks for your support,

Dan Howells
Greenpeace Deputy Campaigns Director

We’ve Got It Covered

Shell Says It Can ‘Encounter’ 95 Percent of an Arctice Oil Spill, Not Collect it.
From Nation of Change
by Joe Smyth
2 July 2012

As Shell’s rigs head toward the Arctic to exploit melting sea ice to drill for more oil, the company took a small step this weekend in clarifying what would happen in an oil spill during the company’s planned Arctic drilling operations this summer.

Despite the oil industry’s spin, experts know it is impossible to recover more than a small fraction of a major marine oil spill, as retired Coast Guard Admiral Roger Rufe told NPR: “But once oil is in the water, it’s a mess. And we’ve never proven anywhere in the world — let alone in the ice — that we’re very good at picking up more than 3 or 5 or 10 percent of the oil once it’s in the water.”

So how is it possible, according to the New York Times, that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar “said he believed the company’s claims that it could collect at least 90 percent of any oil spilled in the event of a well blowout.” These sorts of claims have raised eyebrows among advocates and scientists who study offshore oil drilling — they aren’t just unbelievable, they’re laughably, outrageously impossible. NPR’s Richard Harris cuts through Shell’s spin, and explains what these numbers really mean:

“They have a miniscule number of boats compared to what was available in the Gulf of Mexico,” [Peter Van Tuyn, and environmental lawyer in Anchorage] says, and in the Gulf, “they didn’t have to deal with the extreme weather conditions that we’ve got in the Arctic.” High winds are the norm, and sea ice is always a possible hazard, “and yet they [Shell] claim they can collect as much as 95 percent.”

Merrell says the company has made no such claim. Instead, he says, the oil company’s plan is to confront 95 percent of the oil out in the open water, before it comes ashore. That doesn’t mean responders can collect what they encounter.

“Because the on-scene conditions can be so variable, it would be rather ridiculous of us to make any kind of performance guarantee,” Merrell says.

While discussing the same issue with the Associated Press, Shell PR folks take another word out for a spin, and even try to blame “opposition groups” for this confusion:

Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith said opposition groups are purposely mischaracterizing Shell’s oil spill response plan. The plan does not claim Shell can clean up 90 percent of an oil spill, he said.

“We say in our plan we expect to ‘encounter’ 90 percent of any discharge on site — very close to the drilling rig,” he said. “We expect to encounter 5 percent near-shore between the drilling rig and the coast. And we expect to encounter another 5 percent on shore. We never make claims about the percent we could actually recover, because conditions vary, of course.”

Where Shell plans to drill in the Arctic, those conditions include 20 foot swells, hurricane force winds, sea ice, and months of total darkness, and all without deep water ports or other infrastructure needed to mount a major oil spill response. But let’s put that aside for a moment, to make sure we’re not mischaracterizing here: Shell expects to “encounter” or “confront” 90% of the spilled oil and another 5% the company plans to — rendezvous? — with elsewhere in the ocean, while the remaining 5% Shell might — happen upon? — on shore. How much of that oil might be recovered, collected, or, you know, removed from the environment? Well, Shell says conditions vary, so making a performance guarantee would be rather ridiculous.

In the relatively calm conditions of the Gulf of Mexico, with thousands of response vessels, only a small fraction was recovered from the BP oil disaster. Despite shameful efforts to spin its announcement, a government report found that 4% of the oil was skimmed, and another 6% was burned. And as oil spill expert Rick Steiner observes, even those estimates might be too high, and burning oil isn’t really removing it from the environment: “It either went into the air as atmospheric emissions, and some of that is pretty toxic stuff, or there’s a residue from burning crude that sinks to the ocean floor, sometimes in big thick mats.”

Read entire story at Nation of Change.

The Land Is Wasted

Dear Gabriel,

Emmanuel Kuru’s livelihood was destroyed.

In August 2008, the Shell Oil pipeline that ran through his property in the Niger Delta burst, smothering everything in its path with crude oil. His life as a fisherman and a farmer was wrecked.

“The land is wasted. Oil kills everything. We are stranded.”

Shell’s oil spill took away Emmanuel’s livelihood, his drinking water, the economic value of his land — his very way of life.

His neighbors, and tens of thousands of people living along the Niger Delta, have suffered the same devastating fate caused by oil spill after oil spill. While the Niger Delta has been awash in pollution, Shell has been swimming in profits — $30.9 billion globally in 2011.

Tell Shell — Own up. Pay up. Clean up. Make this message loud, clear and inescapable — add your name to Amnesty’s petition demanding justice for Emmanuel and the people harmed by Shell in the Niger Delta.

Ahead of Shell’s Annual General Meeting this May, Amnesty will deliver the signatures of hundreds of thousands of activists from around the world in an unsparing public message to CEO Peter Voser and Shell shareholders.

Oil spills are endemic in the Niger Delta, and Shell is the biggest culprit. Why does the oil giant refuse to come clean about its spills in Nigeria? Just yesterday, Amnesty International and the Nigerian NGO, the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, released new analysis showing that at least 103,000 barrels of oil were spilled over 72 days in Emmanuel’s town of Bodo — more than 60 times the volume that Shell repeatedly has claimed leaked.

But thanks to activists like you, corporations like Shell can’t hide their human rights abuses anymore. Amnesty International is calling Shell out in a big way, urging the company to make a clear and public commitment to contribute $1 billion as an initial payment to an independent clean-up fund.

People like Emmanuel deserve justice: a full clean-up, real reparations and a beginning to an end to their nightmare.

It’s time to hold Shell accountable and ensure it cleans up its act in Nigeria. Add your name to Amnesty’s petition against Shell today.

In solidarity,

Tanuka Loha
Director, Demand Dignity Campaign
Amnesty International USA

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