Shell makes headlines in Nigeria today

Bloomberg Businessweek reported “Shell Shuts Nigeria’s Bonga on Possible Worst Leak in Decade”

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, shut its 200,000 barrel-a-day Bonga field off Nigeria after a leak during a tanker loading caused what may be the country’s worst offshore spill in more than a decade.

I am thinking that Shell is going to have some serious explaining to do to the people of Nigeria.

This is exactly why Shell needs to prepare stronger environmental assessment with stronger emergency failure plans.  We don’t need a major catastrophe on our traditional lands.

We are planning on creating a petition in 2012 so you can let Canadian leaders know how you feel about Shell operating on traditional Dene lands in Northern Alberta, so stay tuned!

Happy Holidays everyone and Mashi Cho for reading.

Shell’s Environmental Impact Assessment Fails to Protect the Environment and First Nation Rights:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Shell’s Environmental Impact Assessment Fails to Protect the Environment and First Nation Rights:

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation opposes Shell’s proposed project

December 20, 2011 Edmonton – Friday marked the closing date for the Joint Review Panel (JRP) public comments on the adequacy of Shell’s proposed Jackpine mine expansion application and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Many environmental and First Nation groups, including the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN), submitted initial comments outlining flaws and potential impacts of the proposed project. Once the JRP is satisfied information is adequate it will announce details of the public hearing, including dates, location, and any pre-hearing process. If the Panel is satisfied with information presented hearings will likely begin in 2012.

ACFN and Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN), whose members find it increasingly difficult to hunt, fish, trap and gather as their lands are rapidly industrialized, submitted a joint submission in response to the JRP request for submissions on Shell’s Jackpine Expansion project. The joint submission asserts rights protected by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, including rights pursuant to Treaty 8, to hunt, fish, and trap, which guarantees First Nations have a meaningful livelihood now and for the future. ACFN’s joint submission identifies the following overarching flaws in the application:

1. Shell has not provided sufficient information with respect to the Project’s impacts and infringements of our section 35 rights for the JRP to comply with the Terms of Reference.

2. Shell has not provided sufficient information for the JRP to be able to conduct an assessment of the cumulative effects of the Project, either on environmental components or on our section 35 rights and traditional uses.

3. Shell has not provided sufficient information for the JRP to assess water quantity issues, including the degree to which the Project could diminish water levels below the threshold level where we can still exercise our section 35 rights and fully access our traditional lands.[1]

“We are rightfully concerned about how Shell’s proposed Jackpine Mine Expansion Project will impact and infringe our section 35 rights. It’s clear Shell’s current application does not include enough information for the JRP to appropriately assess potential impacts on our rights,” stated Chief Allan Adam of ACFN.

“We hope the JRP will respect our unique rights and implement our recommendations and not let Shell slide through the approval process without addressing our concerns,” stated Chief Adam. “We will no longer stand on the side lines as Shell permanently destroys our lands, our rivers, our rights and our community.”

Chief Adam’s comments come only weeks after ACFN served Shell Canada with a lawsuit for unfulfilled terms of agreements regarding existing tar sands mines. The agreements were meant to ensure Shell would provide a number of measures to lessen the impact of these mines on ACFN. The community asserts that Shell’s current operations are already threatening the environment and the communities way of life and plan to oppose Shell’s two new tar sands mines until all past and future concerns are addressed.

“It’s not surprising Shell is on the hook for unmet agreements in the tar sands, their track record in other countries is shameful,” stressed Eriel Deranger, spokesperson and Tar Sands communication officer for ACFN. Shell is allegedly responsible for oil spills, gas flaring and deforestation in Nigeria stripping the land of resources, destroying subsistence farming- and fishing-based economies of Ogoni people.[2] A fate people of ACFN want to avoid. “It would be irresponsible for the Panel to approve this application and allowing the expansion of any tar sands projects. We have been calling for a moratorium on new projects and Shell is no exception. Shell has clearly failed to meet base requirements fundamental to adequate environmental, treaty and human rights protection in the area,” continued Deranger, “we can no longer afford run away expansion on our traditional lands.”

ACFN and MCFN’s concerns regarding Shell’s EIA and proposal are echoes by groups like Sierra Club Prairie and the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition (OSEC) who also put forward submissions outlining serious flaws in Shell’s EIA.

Sierra Club Prairie’s submission stated, “Development is occurring at such as fast pace that each new EIS cannot fully consider cumulative effects; projects are being announced and approved faster than the cumulative impacts can be evaluated in impact statements.”[3] A concern shared by community members from ACFN and in Fort Chipewyan.

OSEC submission reports major gaps in the submissions that renders “information before the Panel inadequate to proceed with its assessment.” OSEC’s submission goes on to state the assessment failed to incorporate relevant information about valued species and species at risk. Many of these valued and species at risk are vital to the continuation of protected treaty rights of the people of ACFN.[4]

Chief Adam of ACFN stated, “We’re drawing the line, and taking a strong stand against Shell. ACFN wants no further developments until Shell is brought to justice and our broader concerns about the cumulative impacts in the region are addressed, our treaty rights respected and our rights are fully recognized within the approval process once and for all.”

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For more information please contact:

Eriel Deranger, ACFN Tar Sands Communication Officer 780-903-6598

Chief Allan Adam, ACFN 780-713-1220

Draw the line: Moving beyond tar sands oil

Please Check out this new website:

http://www.drawthelineattarsands.com/

The following is directly from the site:

Why draw the line?

Internationally and at home Canada has prided itself with a reputation. Canada was among the first to impose sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa, has been there to help when disaster strikes such as the earthquake in Haiti, and has sent Peacekeepers to war torn countries to protect the vulnerable and encourage and restore democracy. From our banking system to our health care system to our hockey teams, others look to us as a model.

Today, this reputation is being undermined by the oil companies extracting dirty oil from the Alberta tar sands. These companies, along with some government officials, are aggressively expanding the tar sands and pushing Canada’s oil on the world and blocking effective, smart policies to fight global warming in Canada, the United States, and Europe. All the while, Canada’s wilderness and wildlife, clean air and fresh water are being contaminated and destroyed.  Pipelines across the United States and Canada carrying tar sands also pose major risks to the ocean, lakes and rivers, lands and wildlife. Burning tar sands oil creates more carbon pollution than conventional oil.

The time has come to draw the line

While countries like Denmark are planning their transition away from fossil fuels and building low carbon economies, Canada’s economy is increasingly dependent on the ability to export oil from the tar sands. At the same time, exporting tar sands oil to countries such as the United States increases American dependence on oil – a step backwards.

The increasing dependence on oil to drive the Canadian economy is a shortsighted plan that could hurt or inhibit other sectors (including clean energy) and makes Canada more vulnerable to the volatility of global oil prices.

Whether you define yourself as First Nations, Quebecois, Canadian, American, or a citizen of the world, the time has come to take a stand and draw the line on tar sands.

 

Check it out and add your voice!

 

 

ACTION ALERT!!!!

WHAT CAN I DO?

So far, Shell has only promised to address some of these effects if First Nations enter into agreements with Shell.  But, Shell’s performance on ACFN’s traditional lands has given good reason for ACFN to oppose to the proposed Jackpine Mine Expansion and Pierre River Mine. The Joint Review Panel, the government regulators and the people of Alberta should not trust this particular corporation to do the right thing.

The Joint Review Panel reviewing the proposed Jackpine Mine Expansion project announced a comment period on the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the Application filed by the proponent, Shell Canada Ltd. This comment period provides interested parties an opportunity to express their views to the Panel on the adequacy of the available information.

“The Panel will review the public comments received and will determine whether it will require additional information from the proponent. Once the Panel is satisfied that the information is adequate, it will announce the details of the public hearing, including the hearing commencement date, the hearing venue, and any prehearing process and will provide a minimum of 60 days notice prior to the start of the hearing.” [http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=626129]

Forward your written comments by mail, e-mail or fax, in either official language by December 16, 2011 to the Panel Secretariat at the address below. All comments received by the Joint Review Panel will be considered public and will be posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry Internet site.

Joint Review Panel Secretariat
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3
Tel.: 1-866-582-1884
Fax: 613-957-0941
Shell.Reviews@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN SUBMIT PUBLIC COMMENTS PLEASE CLICK HERE

ACFN is drawing the line, and taking a strong stand against these proposed Shell projects and the rapid development of its traditional lands without regard for its treaty rights, its cultural survival or the devastating environmental impacts. ACFN wants no further developments until Shell is brought to justice and our broader concerns about the impacts of development in the region are addressed.

First Nation to sue Shell Canada | Alberta | News | Edmonton Sun

Yesterday, Chief Adam hand delivered Shell Canada with paper outlining the intent to sue over unmet agreement regarding current tar sands projects.

View video here:

First Nation to sue Shell Canada | Alberta | News | Edmonton Sun.

This came as somewhat of a surprise to the giant oil corporation and also puts into question the company’s uncoming two new proposed projects.

The Pierre River Mine project proposed by Shell Canada includes the construction, operation, and reclamation of an oil sands surface mine and bitumen extraction facilities. The proposed mining project would be located approximately 90 km north of Fort McMurray on the west side of the Athabasca River. The proposed development includes an open-pit mine, ore handling facility, bitumen extraction facilities, tailings processing facilities, support infrastructure, water and tailings management plans, as well as the construction of a bridge across the Athabasca River. The project is designed to produce a total of 200 000 barrels of bitumen per day.

Shell Canada is also proposing to expand the Jackpine Mine project. The expansion would include additional mining areas and associated processing facilities, utilities and infrastructure. The project would be located about 70 km north of Fort McMurray on the east side of the Athabasca River. The expansion project would increase bitumen production by 100 000 barrels per day.”

For more information about the projects please click here.

Yesterday, the Chief was joined by members of the Keepers of the Athabasca, Greenpeace and Sierra Club Prairie.  After the delivery of the papers toShell the group moved to the Kahnoff center where the panel presented on the importance of the case and impacts of Shell negligence regarding the past agreements.  The Chief and members of allied organizations all stressed that the newly proposed expansion and development of a new project should not be completed until unresolved issues were dealt with.  The issues outlined by the groups included unmet emission promises, unmet tailings directives, contamination to the Athabasca river systems and recognition of Indigenous peoples rights.

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It is our hope the public will understand this suit against Shell is not the small amount of money ($1.5 mil) but rather about the principle of the case.  Shell had made promises to provide adequate resources for the community to participate in mitigation discussion, to map out traditional areas and study potential impacts of Shell projects on sacred sites, and for the community to implement a community monitoring program.

Shell has repeatedly denied application from ACFN for projects that are clearly within the parameters of the agreements.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise because Shell has not lived up to agreements made with the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition either – Shell had promised OSEC to reduce its greenhouse gas pollution to levels in line with alternatives available in North America and has yet to do so.  Shell’s tailings plans for both the Jackpine Mine and the Muskeg River Mine did not meet the standards of Directive 074, the government policy designed to reduce the environmental impact of tailings. Shell tried to avoid installing sufficient pollution control equipment at the Muskeg River Mine and was unable to meet its solvent recovery requirements.

It’s no wonder that Shell has abused it’s power to hinder the ability of ACFN to implement a self-guided and directed monitoring program. Shell has much to hid from a community who is direct recipients to the environmental destruction caused by this irresponsible corporation.

Shell’s history of neglect and abuse is not new. Shell has been sued by groups in the Niger Delta, where Shell left a trail of destruction and clean up is estimated to take over 30 years and cost over $1 bil USD.  Shell was ultimately charge in this case and Jennie Green, one of the lawyers from the Centre for Constitutional Rights, said “This was one of the first cases to charge a multinational corporation with human rights violations, and this settlement confirms that multinational coporations can no longer act with the impunity they once enjoyed.”

It’s time to say enough is enough.  Shell needs to clean up it’s act and get the Shell out of the tar sands.

Please see original post from Ben Powless’s facebook page.

Durban, South Africa: In Canada and the United Kingdom, Indigenous activists and their supporters targeted Shell today for violating agreements made with Indigenous communities in Canada. In Durban, site of the ongoing UN climate talks, activists from Canada joined activists from Africa to denounce Shell and their repeated violations of human rights and environmental regulations. Appearing outside a Shell refinery, a number of Indigenous activists joined with youth from Canada and Africa to support the community of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN), who recently announced their lawsuit against Shell.

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“Shell has left a trail of broken promises and ravaged eco-systems.  They have been pushing their dirty fossil fuels plans on every country they can bully. It’s time to stand up and say get the Shell out of there, we don’t want your broken promises anymore,” declared Eriel Deranger, a community member of ACFN and director of Sierra Club Prairies.

“We’re drawing the line, and taking a strong stand against Shell. ACFN wants no further developments until Shell is brought to justice and our broader concerns about the cumulative impacts in the region are addressed,” stated Allan Adam, Chief of ACFN.

“The destructive tar sands operations by Shell and other big oil companies are destroying the land and violating our people’s rights to hunt, trap and fish. Canada is a willing partner in these crimes and other human rights abuses caused by fossil fuels and climate change,” noted Daniel T’seleie, an Indigenous youth from northern Canada, and a member of the Canadian Youth Delegation.

“Shell has a history of devastation across the African continent that we are well aware of. Our peoples and our environments have been turned into a colony for companies like Shell, who profit from our suffering. Knowing full well the extent of brutality that Shell has delivered to my fellow Nigerians, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Canada standing up to say ‘get the Shell out of here’,” emphasized Nnimmo Bassey, director of Environmental Rights Action (Nigeria) and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize.

“Ironically, Durban, the site of this year’s international climate talks, has struggled against the aging Shell refinery that is the symbol of climate change and environmental injustice. Shell has been responsible for crimes against local citizens, where refinery accidents are common and where rusting pipelines have leaked more than 1 million litres of petrol. We strictly oppose plans to bring Tar Sands oil to South Africa, and agree that Shell must be held accountable for its violations against communities,” claimed Bobby Peek, director of Groundwork in Durban.

“We are here in Durban to look for climate solutions, meanwhile countries like Canada are promoting dirty oil from the Tar Sands, backed by large corporations like Shell. While our communities are suffering from the impacts of climate change, groups like Shell have been found to be lobbying governments to weaken their positions. This has to be the time when we begin to hold companies and countries alike responsible for their actions against our communities,” declared Tom Goldtooth, director of the Indigenous Environmental Network in North America.