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Shell to Sea - letter in response to Shell Propaganda

Response to 3 different weekly adds placed by Shell in the Galway Advertiser. Links to Shell's adds included.
Shell campaign is spin and spin, say Shell to SeaThe following piece is a response to 3 weekly adds placed in the Galway Advertiser.Dear Editor,I’d like to respond to Shell’s advertising campaign regarding the Corrib Gas project as corporate spin and lies. The most glaringly obvious of these are their claims that the gas coming down the pipeline is clean and will be treated long before it comes onshore and also that all of the gas will be used to service the Irish Market. In fact, two extra chemicals are added to the pipeline. Impurities are not extracted, pressure is not reduced and the gas is not odorized until it reaches the refinery. The list of pollutants is large, but includes several heavy metals (among the most toxic substances known to man), other hydrocarbons, chlorides, sulphates and radon gas. It’s becoming the environmental norm to pump the harmful bye-products of the refinery process back into the ground; instead Shell plans to incinerate the condensate and pump the waste products 12Km out to sea. The proposed purpose of this incinerator is to power the refinery, despite an abundance of Gas. Regarding claims that ALL of the gas will be used to service the Irish market, Bord Gais is entitled to buy a percentage believed to be 27% at full market rates; the rest would likely be piped across to the UK and Europe. Shell makes another claim that the gas will be used to fuel homes and businesses all along the west coast; in fact there are no plans to service the regional towns and villages outside of Galway City, never mind the coast.Shell makes several other highly dubious claims regarding the precedence for such a development, and jobs created or lost. They claim onshore method as “best practice” citing two examples in Norway. In fact, these (best) Norwegian examples are nothing like Corrib, one being on an uninhabited island from which gas is tankered away on boats, the other being an island shore where it’s pumped straight back out to sea to the UK. The difference with the Corrib refinery site is that it’s 9Km on land, piped through a populated area. On jobs, they fail to say that support for an onshore facility would be located in Ayr, Scotland. They highly exaggerate the local jobs impact, the bottom line being that the Erris people choose the Shell to Sea campaign over any possible jobs. Another claim that Ballinaboy (refinery site) was chosen for its low environmental impact is a complete joke.To put the safety issue into perspective, a disaster in New Mexico at 40 bar pressure killed everyone within 700 feet; the kill zone of this pipeline at multiple times that pressure could be hundreds of metres. The US-Canadian model would locate it 295m away from human activity, not 70m from houses and 0m at road junctions. As foreign multinational, Shell seems very forthright in stating what is in the National interest. Let me say, it’s the Governments’ job, not Shell’s to defend a deal which puts us bottom of the world league table for tax and royalties.Shell Corporation has an appalling track record in its dealings with the people of regions it wants to exploit. Several books and documentaries exist about their disregard for local people, intimidation and environmental destruction throughout the world. In April, they obtained an injunction, granted on the basis that they had ministerial consent, which they didn’t have. They make a mockery of the Irish legal system by keeping five men in jail. Their suspension of work is not to facilitate calm and dialogue; if they were serious about dialogue, they’d release the five men by dropping the injunction.Yours sincerely,Kieran Cunnane,Related linkshttp://galwayadvertiser.ie/dws/pdf/GA_1808_E1_035.pdfhttp://galwayadvertiser.ie/dws/pdf/GA_2508_E1_029.pdfhttp://galwayadvertiser.ie/dws/pdf/GA_0109_E1_029.pdfhttp://galwayadvertiser.ie/dws/story.tpl?inc=2005/09/15/letters/21799.html

Posted Date: 
17 September 2005 - 3:10pm