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Western People: Shell’s opponents say they have been vindicated: “Opponents of Shell’s proposed onshore Corrib gas pipeline say a report by the World Wildlife Fund has vindicated their stance.”: Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Opponents of Shell’s proposed onshore Corrib gas pipeline say a report by the World Wildlife Fund has vindicated their stance.

The report, which relates to Shell’s Sakhalin 2 oil project off the coast of Russia, has uncanny parallels with the Corrib gas scenario in Mayo, says local woman, Maura Harrington.

The World Wildlife Fund has been lobbying the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development not to entertain an application from Shell for project finance for the Sakhalin 2 project, claiming that the development could lead to the extinction of the endangered gray whale species.

In a report entitled, “Risky Business- the new Shell”, the WWF compared the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process undertaken on the Sakhalin 2 project with Shell’s own group manual on EIA: “The application of Shell’s own EIA procedures has been found to be seriously lacking … In this case Shell has made decision first, and then sought to justify them through the EIA process,” the report notes.

The WWF states that Shell’s lack of strategic planning on the Sakhalin 2 project is resulting in damaging infrastructure development.

The report notes: “In particular it is clear that environmental aspects were not considered in choosing the platform location, and no alternative options have been offered. Shell has had ample chances to alter the project, but has chosen its construction timetable over environmental protection. Shell has handled consultation so badly to date, it has already seriously damaged relations and trust with key stakeholders.”

The report alleges that Shell has set its own standards on EIA which are aligned with the requirements of the World Bank: “It is clear that the company has not applied this process satisfactorily to meet any international standard.”

Speaking to the Western People, Maura Harrington said: “This is exactly the same thing that has happened with the Corrib project. Shell did not do their work in the beginning and now they’re leaving them up to their necks in problems. Up until this summer it was understandable that people could be taken in by Shell’s spin, propaganda and misrepresentation. They were saying everything was hunky dory and that we (opponents) were just a few malcontents. I would welcome if people would just read this report. It gives a validity to what we have been doing. Shell and their Government partners cannot put a spin on it,” she concluded.


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