Archive for the ‘ENERGY’ Category

YOU GOT ME! 5-17-2010

Monday, May 17th, 2010

You got me!   One of your own people.    LOL

Shell halts Nigerian offshore drilling in visionary new remediation plan


The Hague – In advance of the 18 May Shell Annual General Meeting (AGM), Royal Dutch Shell and its joint-venture Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) are announcing sweeping plans to clean up all areas of the Niger Delta where they operate, compensate local communities for past injuries, and institute a local stakeholders program that will contribute to lifting the region out of poverty.

The Comprehensive Shell Remediation Plan for the Niger Delta (CSR-ND) has been steadily developing behind closed doors since Shell CEO Peter Voser took the helm last year, but was fast-tracked in response to public pressure to include an immediate cessation of deep-water drilling in the Niger Delta.

“Shell is proud to be the first international petrochemical company to embark on a rehabilitation and compensation program of any significant scale,” said Shell spokesperson Bernadette Hopma. “The Gulf of Mexico gush has made CSR-ND especially timely.”

“By anticipating and proactively sidestepping the inevitable storm of company-unfriendly rule-changes that follow on major environmental and human calamities of a certain variety, we are building our company’s ongoing resilience well into the future,” said CEO Voser in yesterday’s lunchtime pre-AGM address to top management of Royal Dutch Shell.

After noting that Shell is the largest oil producer in the Niger Delta, which is Africa’s equivalent of the Mississippi River Delta—the largest wetland in Africa, and the third-largest drainage area on the continent—Voser outlined the company’s rationale for the move.

“Despite our company’s measured ongoing efforts to operate within a potential international rule-book as we deliver shareholder value, we have not always done very well. Every year since 1969, oil operations in the Niger Delta have spilled as much oil as the 1989 Exxon Valdez. Neither the Delta itself, nor the prospective legal environment, can tolerate that sort of stress. To avoid serious consequences for Shell’s viability, we must react proactively to past, present and potential future threats to people, the environment, and the future of the global community.”

Last year, Nigeria had 2,000 active spills.
These were certainly not all due to Shell’s operations, but the amount of oil released into the wetlands has been steadily on the rise with production increases by a number of companies.

“Recent events in the Gulf of Mexico demand change,” said Shell spokesperson Bernadette Hopma. “The expected hurricane of regulation and policy change across industry, resulting from the negligent practices by one pair of companies especially, means that all of us need to try to push harder in the interests of long-term survival. Shell will therefore distinguish ourselves by being the first oil company in history to cease taking risks with important delta ecosystems. The unique geology underlying these deltas have sustained our shareholders very well, but we must not let that kind of sustainability come at the the expense of the biodiversity, carbon absorption and O2 production that are their true worth.”
Highlights of the Shell and SPDC CSR-ND Plan include:

* The immediate cessation of deepwater drilling off the coast of Nigeria until the conclusion of a full independent safety review by our local government partners with international oversight.
* The immediate cessation of gas flaring, with all open flares converted by 2012 into energy sources for tariffless local consumption.
* An investment of $8 billion by 2012 followed by $1 billion per annum for 10 years to attempt partial environmental restoration of the Niger Delta. The work force carrying out this mission will be 97% locally sourced and trained.
* A $45 million “truth and reconciliation process” fund to assess and award reparations for perceived injustices since 1958, when Shell first started commercially exporting oil from the region.
* The est ablishment of a $4 billion fund earmarked for compensation for perceived injustices.
* The establishment of a local stakeholder program that gives decision-making and veto capacity over new and ongoing projects to communities affected by Shell and SPDC projects worldwide, pending more formal control at the level of local government.
* A commitment to cap oil production at current levels until 2015, and then to gradually reduce production to 10 percent of current levels by 2050, while compensating for this reduction through the development of renewable energy sources.

“At long last the words ‘stakeholder’ and ‘sustainable’ will actually mean something,” said CEO Voser. “CSR-ND means planning not just for short-term profits, but for what actually matters, including the viability of the planet itself.”

Can’t believe what I’m reading!

Spilled my coffee in my lap.   OUCH!

Picked my jaw up off the floor.

Monday AM, First email in the box…..Is this the Yes Men?   God love ’em.
No.  maybe not.  It appears to be the real thing.
I went to *their site*.   Wrote Bernadette Hopma, media rep. – no response yet.

What if?   A major oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, acting responsibly?   Naaaah!  Can’t be.

But yes.  They  occupy the same planet as do the rest of us, and are finally looking at something besides their bottom line……

Wait!   This is an oil company, an energy company.   A snake!    ‘Gotta be BS! We all watched the spectacle in Congress last week of Halliburton, BP, and Transocean pointing fingers at each other.  No sign of life there.    According to the release, this is coming from the new CEO of RDS, Peter Voser.

What if it were the real thing?  What if corporations started acting beyond the bottom line.  What  if this were a real, bonafide first step to ceasing brutal extraction  of limited natural resources?  Now, that would be grounds for a Nobel Peace Prize.  My eternal cynic says   “What if fish could fly?”

As of mid day Monday, May 17, 2010.  Not a peep nor comment from any other source than this release.  Don’t have a tube so can’t check there….  Gotta be bogus……   (Drumming fingers, watching spider web under construction….   19th cup of coffee..)

Oh wait!  I just signed up for the YES LAB.  Shit!   Forgot.  Maybe it’s not them!  Maybe fish can fly……

I wrote all subscribers of my newsletter,  newswires, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Bernadette Hopma (RDS Rep.).    Really!   Offered RDS a Nobel……….

Sure enough.  Sadly, Wednesday, May 19, Royal Dutch Shell, all a-flutter denounced this as a hack by an African group, The Nigerian Justice League,  in conjunction with the YES MEN and Amnesty International.

Shell Flummoxed by Fakers

Company flummoxes back; activist group takes responsibility

The Hague – Hours before Shell’s annual general shareholder meeting on Tuesday, and not long after BP’s oil rig catastrophe, millions of people around the world received press releases announcing that Shell would implement a “comprehensive remediation plan” for the oil-soaked Niger Delta. The plan included an immediate halt to dangerous offshore drilling, the end of health-damaging gas flaring, and reparations for the human damage caused over the decades of Shell’s involvement.

The “good news” was fiction, created by an ad-hoc activist group called the Nigerian Justice League to generate pressure on Shell to withdraw from, and remediate, the Niger Delta. According to the activists, Shell’s operations in the Delta have helped transform that area into the world’s most polluted ecosystem, which has in turn resulted in a human rights catastrophe.

(The NJL developed the project as part of the Yes Lab (, a workshop run by a group called “the Yes Men” to share their experiences and facilitate the projects of others. The Yes Lab is in the midst of a fundraising drive.)

“Shell, Chevron, and the others are perpetrating a massive, life-threatening hoax by claiming that they can’t quickly stop their gas flaring, reduce their oil spills, and clean up their mess in the Niger Delta,” said Chris Francis of the Nigerian Justice League. “Our press release revealed the truth: that there is a decent way forward, instead of the continual deceit we get from them.”

Shell’s public relations staff quickly and energetically moved to contain the fallout from the fake release. On Tuesday, Shell attempted to eliminate the Justice League’s spoof Shell website by complaining that it was a “phishing scheme” to the upstream internet service provider. Shell then sent a threatening legal letter to the Danish internet provider hosting the site.

In a related story, the Financial Times (a blog of which, incidentally, was duped by the fake release) refused to run a hard-hitting advertisement, created and paid for by Amnesty International, that called for action against Shell for its Niger Delta legacy. Like the fake release, the ad was timed to coincide with Shell’s May 18 AGM.

“For now, Shell’s legal threats are bearing ripe fruit,” said Esmée de la Parra of the Nigerian Justice League. “But they can’t keep blustering their way to destruction forever. Eventually, people will have had enough. For the sake of the planet, let’s hope ‘eventually’ is very soon.”

Curse you, Yes Men!!! (Not really.   Love Ya!  :))))))

Briefly, it was a great day.

Doncha’ just love it when bad guys get to face themselves in international media!

The Greenbacker


Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Hubbard has it exactly backwards.

The first thing we need is public funding of election campaigns which will pave the way for the next thing which is higher energy prices, NOT LOWER.

Good science tells us  global warming stems to a large degree from the burning of fossil fuels.

Unrealistically low prices promote the cavalier use of energy and do nothing to wean us from our disastrous use of fossil fuel.  Higher prices that reflect the real costs of energy would encourage decreased carbon emissions.
Responsible use of energy  will ensure that the next generation does not have to pay energy bills incurred by this generation.

Without a responsible approach to energy use, our kids will face a  world dangerously warmed by our generation’s unwillingness to control our own energy gluttony.

I agree with  NYT writer Tom Friedman:  Gasoline should never go below $4/gal.
Energy should be priced to reflect its real cost.  The use of sustained sources for energy should be actively encouraged.  Carbon and other pollution should be taxed.

The Greenbacker

The last thing we need: The return of high energy prices.

Matthew Hubbard | May 9, 2009

In the press, there is quiet talk of positive signs in the economy. Beyond the good news that the stock market is no longer plummeting, the reasons for this guarded optimism elude me.

There has been a positive trend for the world economy since this time last year, though it is hardly news. Last May, the price of a barrel of crude oil was over $120, and in July it peaked at over $140. There was a time when the rule of thumb was that a gallon of gas would cost about 5% the price of a barrel of crude, but the price increases seen this century mercifully ended that correlation. Even so, crude prices well over $100 a barrel meant a gallon of gas was about $4, and the general economy suffered greatly under that extra burden for the cost of transporting goods and people.