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:
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.
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.