Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I objected to the EPA sharing personal details of those that objected to Shell…and they sent the letter back and the envelope!

Dear Environmental Protection Agency

Please let me know what is the meaning of sending all the objections you received to Shell, to all the other objectors. I dearly hope you noticed that one or two of the objections were from Shell itself. If you have sent my details to Shell, I will be extremely angry and take you to court myself. Its hugely abusive to deliver information to a Company who has a track record of killing off people who oppose their plans.

They’ve already sunk one man’s boat in Mayo and further afield:
“Shell was involved in the development of the strategy that resulted in the unlawful execution of the Ogoni Nine (the local people who had resisted oppression and exploitation by Shell) ...One month after the executions of the Ogoni Nine, Shell
signed an agreement to invest $4 billion in a liquefied natural
gas project there.”

Shell have already managed to paint the picture of objector’s being ‘thugs’ and somehow deserving of jail-sentences in Mayo and further afield:
“Shell and the Nigerian government coordinated a public relations
campaign to discredit the movement, falsely attributing airplane hijackings, kidnapping and other acts of violence to those who objected”

Shell financed the policing and logistics of the increased security they requested.

Please also confirm that you did not send the petition of over one 1000 names of people who objected? You must have spotted that Shell just put in an objection so as to be included in this cheap information-gathering exercise. I have objected to other licenses in other authorities and never been sent a huge parcel of papers, wasting paper and with no cover letter explaining what on earth was the reasoning behind it.  It implies that there is a second step to objecting but does not explain the process. In the meantime, you have put people in mortal danger. Our objections were to bring information to bear on your research and decision. It seems madness to expose individuals to the company itself.  Vindictive even. Well, if they harm a hair on my head, or anyone else’s, you will answer for it.
Maybe you thought we’d club together and provide an Environmental Impact Assessment….oh but hang on that’s your job. I gather from the other objections that they haven’t been done even though various organizations are sharing the load of assessing the company’s works.
“Ten conservation organizations — Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, Pacific Environment, Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands, and Sierra Club — filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement for allowing Shell to drill for oil without a prior assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act. This lack of thorough Environmental Impact Assessments of all the changes Shell have made through the last decade and, I believe, lack of any full and proper application even being lodged by Shell, are things that I wish the EPA would apply themselves to, rather than heaps of photocopying.

Then maybe you thought, all the objectors might club together and prove that Shell are a heinous organization and have no right to drill here? Yes, there are plenty of arguments and plenty of evidence provided in the objections but no one should have to take Shell to court. The EPA yourselves have a key opportunity to refuse the license.

While I’m here, I will just ask the straight question, why was it €126 for an individual to object and only €63 for a fully funded organization to object? Like a county council. Coincidentally, I didn’t see an objection from Mayo County Council. Could it be that being government-funded would have restrained the arm of such organizations sufficiently?

Today “The heatwave and floods came as protests against the fossil fuel companies largely responsible for climate change faced protests across the United States. On Sunday in Santa Barbara, California, residents protested a major oil spill which has killed wildlife and soiled beaches. In Bellingham, Washington, two protesters suspended themselves from the anchor chain of a ship to oppose Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. Chiara D’Angelo hung from the anchor of the Arctic Challenger from Friday until Monday morning, while fellow protester Matt Fuller joined her for 22 hours on Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, the University of Hawaii has voted to divest its $66 million endowment from fossil fuels, becoming the largest university to heed the growing divestment movement to date.

The University of Hawaii has DIVESTED endowment from fossil fuel companies as a result. What are you going to do?

Please sort out this disgrace and don’t be intimidated into letting the Irish people and land be exploited and threatened by Shell. They will have to answer to their maker like everyone else, but by then it will be too late. Intervene now and put protection measures in place for those who have contributed to the process, like myself, to support a strong decision to refuse Shell this license.

Love Frances 

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