Tag Archives: Shell Oil

Will Barbados Environment Minister Denis Lowe attend World Environment Day Parish Walk – Saturday, June 5, 2010?

Why does our Environment Minister shun citizen-organised Environmental events?

Minister Denis Lowe

With his friendly demeanor and large frame Barbados Environment Minister Denis Lowe is easy to spot when he appears in public, but other than his press interviews and carefully-staged talks at schools, political functions and Ministry show-projects, Mr. Lowe remains The Invisible Man to ordinary citizens.

Saturday, June 5, 2010 is World Environment Day (UN WED website here).

Commemorated on 5 June since 1972, World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.

This year, the National Conservation Commission and the Future Centre Trust are jointly holding a World Environment Day Parish Walk from the Eric Holder Centre in St Joseph to Bathsheba.  This event also marks the 40th Anniversary of the NCC.

We wonder if Environment Minister Lowe will attend this citizen-organised walk or if he will limit his participation to taking out one of his famous full page adverts in The Barbados Advocate. In lieu of the full page advert, perhaps he might be planning to do one of his “I am concerned” media interviews while standing in front of government crews cleaning drains. (The Barbados Advocate covers Dr. Lowe’s stand up interviews faithfully but that has nothing to do with the regular full page government advertisements… honest!)

Pardon our cynicism folks, but Dr. Lowe and his Ministry have been no-shows at so many environmental events that we have to wonder. Most recently the Barbados Government, Environment Minister Denis Lowe and the Environment Ministry were invited to participate in the planning and execution of No Plastic Bag Day.

Denis Lowe canceled a scheduled meeting with the Future Centre Trust at the last moment saying he had more important commitments. Lowe sent no stand-in. No Ministry of the Environment personnel responded to invitations either – and no politicians from any party showed up during the planning or on the day of the event. The Barbados DLP Government of Prime Minister David Thompson did do one thing though: the DLP denied a duty waiver on the green shopping bags imported as part of No Plastic Bag Day.

The good Doctor Lowe hasn’t been seen at any beach or gully clean-ups either. He’s also been conspicuously absent from the site of the Shell Oil pipeline spill since he was elected.

“There is no question that Shell Oil bought and paid for two successive Barbados governments. How else can we explain the actions of both the BLP and DLP governments in allowing this negligent and abusive company to walk away free from a major pipeline leak that polluted the water table over hundreds of acres, ruined agricultural land and still threatens our beaches?”

from the BFP article How Much Did It Cost Shell Oil To Buy Two Barbados Governments? Without Election Financing Laws, We’ll Never Know

Prior to the DLP victory in January 2008, Denis Lowe was happy to work with environmentalists and concerned citizens to look for justice for the victims of the Shell Oil pipeline spill. Lowe attended with Adrian Loveridge and others to pull buckets of Shell jet fuel from household water wells and demand that Shell take responsibility and clean up their mess.

That was prior to the DLP forming the government, of course.

Now? We have Shell Oil’s “fixer company” saying they will “ensure government buy-in” to Shell’s position.

Hey… Dr. Lowe, please tell us how much in “campaign donations” that you and the Democratic Labour Party have received from Shell, SOL or associated companies since you lost interest in the Shell Oil pipeline spill?

Does it matter whether or not Environment Minister Lowe shows up for World Environment Day?

At this point? Nope. It doesn’t matter at all. Not a bit.

Barbados Free Press will be there though. See you on Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 5am for a 6am start at the Eric Holder Centre in St Joseph.

(5am? I know, I know! But Clive promises he’ll either get up early or stay up all night. Do we believe him? Sure! 🙂 )

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Disaster, Environment, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Oil, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Shell Pays Up In Nigerian Human Rights & Ken Saro-Wiwa Execution Case

In the lawsuit, the families of the Ogoni nine alleged Shell conspired with the military government to capture and hang the men. Shell was also accused of a series of other alleged human rights violations, including working with the army to bring about killings and torture of Ogoni ­protesters.

The company was alleged to have provided the Nigerian army with vehicles, patrol boats and ammunition, and to have helped plan raids and terror campaigns against villages.

Supporters of the legal action said the fact that Shell had walked away from the trial suggested the company had been anxious about the evidence that would have been presented had it gone ahead. Stephen Kretzmann, director of Oil Change International, said Shell “knew the case was overwhelming against them, so they bought their way out of a trial”…

… from the Guardian story Shell pays out $15.5m over Saro-Wiwa killing

Shell To Pay US$15.5 Million Over Nigerian Government Execution Of Nine Activists

Ken Saro-Wiwa - "Shell has blood on its hands"

Ken Saro-Wiwa - "Shell has blood on its hands"

Considering that Shell makes about US$3 million dollars profit per hour – every hour of every day – we’d say they got off pretty lightly for their environmental rape of Nigeria and (denied) complicity in the hangings of nine innocent Nigerians who wanted clean air, water and soil for their children.

Why did Shell settle at the last moment before the trial was due to begin in New York City?

Because going to trial would have exposed the truth about Shell in Nigeria to the whole world. US$15.5 million is pocket change to make risk go away.

What is the Lesson for Barbados Farmers Coping With Shell Oil’s Barbados Pipeline Spills?

Barbado Environment Denis Lowe (left) remains silent on the Shell Oil spill since his election.

Since his election, Barbados Environment Minister Denis Lowe (left) is suddenly silent on Shell Oil spill.

Perhaps the lesson in Barbados should be to sue the hell out of Shell. After 15 years of Shell ducking and dodging their responsibility, the Shell Barbados pipeline spill case needs to go to court.

We’d advise the Barbados Government to charge Shell with environmental offenses of failing to keep records, spilling petroleum and failing to clean up the spill – except that Barbados has no environmental legislation. That’s right folks – we don’t even have a law that requires Shell Oil to check their pipes and tanks every day for leaks.

Welcome to Barbados: where we have no hazardous materials standards and companies can pollute at will without worrying about the consequences.

How much did Shell Oil “donate” to the “political campaigns” of the DLP and BLP?

Oh, sorry… no legal requirement for anyone to reveal that, either!

Further Reading

Wall Street Journal: Shell Settles Nigeria Case

Times Online: Shell agrees $15.5m settlement over death of Saro-Wiwa and eight others

BFP: Shell Oil Announces Pipeline Spill A Non-Issue – Barbados News Media & Government Ask Zero Questions Of Company Hired To “Ensure Buy-In” To Shell Strategies

BFP: Shell Oil Pollutes And Runs In Barbados. After 15 Years Government Has The Answer: Committee Of Politicians

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Disaster, Environment, Ethics, Nigeria, Oil, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Awards Oil Rights To Company Responsible For Worst Environmental Mining Disaster!

“Every (year) over the past twenty years, the Ok Tedi mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has dumped 80,000 tons of waste into the Ok Tedi and Fly Rivers. The result has been an environmental disaster that has destroyed thousands of square kilometers of rainforest and caused terrible hardship for local people…

Australian mining giant BHP Billiton was the major shareholder in Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) and the mine operator until early 2002. At this time, the company handed over its majority stake in OTML to the newly formed and ironically named Sustainable Development Project Company.

This quiet revolution demonstrates the power of transnational corporations in PNG. With the transfer, BHP gained legal indemnity from PNG government action with respect to all the pollution and destruction it has already caused and will cause in the future. The government surrendered its sovereignty, failing to protect its citizens by setting environmental standards and monitoring corporate activities.” … Friends of the Earth International

BHP Billiton Destroyed A Country, Took The Profits And Then Transferred The Mess To Another Company To Limit Ongoing Liability – JUST LIKE SHELL DID IN BARBADOS

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this my friends.

Prime Minister David Thompson and the Democratic Labour Party have just awarded the first Barbados offshore oil exploration rights to a company that does hit and run environmental disasters.

Thompson awarded oil contract to a company known to bribe government officials

No Rules: Thompson awarded oil contract to a company known to bribe government officials

You know the type of company that goes into a small country and rapes vast areas without a care about destroying the environment? That is BHP Billiton. A company that brings long-term sickness that injures thousands. A company that leaves malformed babies and miscarriages in its wake. Then after they make hundreds of millions, they “sell” the entire operation and leftover mess to some little nothing of a shell company so BHP Billiton can walk away without liability for the disaster.

Then they go to another little country like Barbados, pay lots of bribes and start all over again.

Oh… and here is the BEST PART….

BHP Billiton themselves started as a little company that SHELL OIL used to walk away from an environmental disaster! You know, the same SHELL OIL that walked away from the environmental damage they caused in Barbados with jet fuel. (see To HELL with SHELL – Barbados Boycotts Shell)

That is BHP Billiton.

Full story and many links at Keltruth Blog’s Barbados Awards Offshore Oil-Exploration Rights To Company Responsible For Worst Environmental Disaster

Prime Minister Thompson: I am ashamed that I once supported you and your government.

36 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Disaster, Environment, Ethics, Human Rights, Offshore Investments, Oil, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Wildlife

Barbados Boycotts Abusive Irresponsible Oil Company: TO HELL WITH SHELL!

So-Called "Clean-Up" By Shell Oil In Barbados

So-Called "Clean-Up" By Shell Oil In Barbados

Boycott Barbados Shell Stations!

We the People, Declare…

1/ Fifteen Years Ago, Shell Spilled At Least A Half A Million Gallons Of Jet Fuel Into The Barbados Water Table. Shell Has Not Cleaned Up The Spill Or Compensated The Immediate Victims

shell-oil-pollution.gifFor the last fifteen years, since 1994,  Shell Oil has been avoiding responsibility for a pipeline leak that spilled at least a half a million gallons of jet fuel into the water table. Their “clean-up” effort has been laughable. This jet fuel has not gone away and even last year water wells within a few hundred feet of a beach were still filled with almost pure kerosene jet fuel. Shell Oil’s response has been to offer Barbados farmers less than one hour of Shell’s profits. Barbados farmers were offered US$2 million in total to be spread among the victims. Shell makes approximately US$3 million per hour.

2/Barbados South Coast Water Table Is Contaminated By Jet Fuel. Our Beaches Are At Risk.

Besides the farmers who lost the use and value of their lands, there has been a vast amount of damage to Barbados as a country. Our water table has been contaminated by Shell and our beaches are still at risk from the pipeline spill.

3/ After 15 Years, It Is Now A Proven Fact That Citizens Cannot Rely Upon Government To Hold Shell Oil Accountable or Force The Company To Clean Up Their Spill

Both the BLP Government of Owen Arthur and Mia Motley and the current DLP government of David Thompson have failed to hold Shell Oil accountable.  Neither the DLP nor the BLP governments implemented any laws that would penalise polluters and make them pay to clean up their mess. Neither the DLP nor the BLP government even passed a simple law compelling pipeline owners to make daily measurements and to report any leakage to the government!

4/ We Refuse To Give Credibility To Strategic Divisions In Shell’s Company And Marketing Structure: Shell is Shell

The current operators of the Shell brand in Barbados argue that their company is not the same company that owned the leaky pipeline. Our response is “Shell is Shell. We shall boycott the Shell brand on Barbados wherever it is found.”

Not One More Bajan Dollar To Shell – Until The Mess Is Cleaned Up, The Farmers Are Compensated, And Shell Acknowledges Its Duty To Pay For Any Future Damages Not Yet Evident.

Further Reading…

How Much Did It Cost Shell Oil To Buy Two Barbados Governments? Without Election Financing Laws, We’ll Never Know

15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Crime & Law, Disaster, Energy, Environment

How Much Did It Cost Shell Oil To Buy Two Barbados Governments? Without Election Financing Laws, We’ll Never Know

So-Called "Clean-Up" By Shell Oil In Barbados

So-Called "Clean-Up" By Shell Oil In Barbados

Fifteen Years Of Shell Pollution + Fifteen Years Of Shell Campaign Donations = Environmental Rape

There is no question that Shell Oil bought and paid for two successive Barbados governments. How else can we explain the actions of both the BLP and DLP governments in allowing this negligent and abusive company to walk away free from a major pipeline leak that polluted the water table over hundreds of acres, ruined agricultural land and still threatens our beaches?

shell-oil-pollution.gifFor the last fifteen years, since 1994,  Shell Oil has been avoiding responsibility for a pipeline leak that spilled at least a half a million gallons of jet fuel into the water table. This jet fuel has not gone away and even last year water wells within a few hundred feet of a beach were still filled with almost pure kerosene jet fuel. Shell Oil’s response has been to offer Barbados farmers less than one hour of Shell’s profits. Barbados farmers were offered US$2 million in total to be spread among the victims. Shell makes approximately US$3 million per hour.

Both the BLP Government of Owen Arthur and Mia Motley and the current DLP government of David Thompson have failed to hold Shell Oil accountable. Besides the farmers who lost the use and value of their lands, there has been vast amounts of damage to Barbados as a country and our beaches are still at risk from the pipeline spill. But neither the DLP nor the BLP governments implemented any laws that would penalise polluters and make them pay to clean up their mess.

Neither the DLP nor the BLP government even passed a simple law compelling pipeline owners to make daily measurements and to report any leakage to the government!

Think about that, friends. In the 15 years since half a million gallons of jet fuel polluted wells and agricultural land on the south coast because the criminals at Shell Oil didn’t even realise the leakage was happening, your useless do-nothing governments haven’t even been able to pass a law requiring Shell Oil to monitor for leaks daily and to report leaks to the government.

How Much Money Did Shell Oil Contribute To Barbados Political Parties In The Last 15 Years?

bribery.jpgOne of the features of our so-called “democracy” is that Barbados has no laws regulating how much money corporations and individuals can contribute to “election campaigns”. We have no laws requiring public disclosure of large amounts of cash. And even when our former Prime Minister Owen Arthur was caught red-handed depositing so-called “election donations” into his personal bank account, David Thompson did not have the courage and integrity to prosecute him. This is because Thompson and his DLP party regularly engage in similar unethical activities with election funds and they don’t want to start that kind of a war with the BLP. Much too dangerous.

Prime Minister Thompson, we citizens want to know how much money the DLP received from Shell Oil or any of its associated companies or persons in the last 15 years. Opposition Leader Mia Motley, we citizens want to know how much money the BLP received from Shell Oil or any of its associated companies or persons in the last 15 years.

For 15 years our governments have allowed Shell oil to get away with environmental rape of our land, our water and our beaches. Is it any wonder that the majority of citizens have so little faith in our elected and appointed government officials?

Further Reading

BFP – Jan 5, 2008 – Shell Oil and the Barbados BLP Government – Together, THIS Is What They Achieved…

BFP – Feb 6, 2007 – Shell 2006 Profits: US$2.9 Million Dollars PER HOUR! – Offers Barbados Farmers Less Than One Hour’s Profits For A Decade Of Pollution And A Deadly Future

BFP – Aug 23, 2006 – Shell Barbados Pipeline Leaks Still Not Cleaned Up

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Disaster, Energy, Environment, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Oil, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism