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Can America trust Shell to drill in the Arctic Ocean?

By John Donovan

The Shell brand is so well known in the USA that most Americans probably believe that it is as American as apple pie, rather than what it actually is – a foreign owned company: Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

In the wake of the still unfolding BP/Transocean catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, Shell is currently trying to reassure the US government and other parties, including environmentalists, that they can all trust Shell to commence drilling for oil in offshore Alaska. Shell, which has already invested billions of dollars in obtaining the drilling rights, has recently released information about its plans to tackle any consequential oil spills.

So can Shell be trusted?

Since it is deeds, not words, which count, Americans would be wise to carefully consider Shell’s environmental track record and whether it is a company which is open and honest.

Just days ago, The Wall Street Journal revealed in an article “Oil Trade With Iran Thrives, Discreetly“, the tricks that Shell has been up to disguise oil purchases from the fanatical Iranian regime  supplying munitions, including roadside bombs, which have maimed and killed large numbers of American and British solders in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Extract from the article:

“One tanker industry executive speculated that Shell might want to disguise its Iranian purchases so as not to suggest that the gasoline it sells in the U.S. is refined from Iranian oil, which would violate U.S. law.”

Shell has continued to do business in Iran despite American sanctions against the Country. It is also doing business with the supposedly reformed Libyan state sponsor of terrorism, Muammar al-Gaddafi. The man behind the bombing of Pan American flight 103.

There is nothing new about Shell being prepared to deceive America about the source of oil supplies. Whilst carrying out some research, I stumbled across some interesting pre-Second World war evidence of Shell playing the same Shell game of deception over oil. From page 153 of  MOGULS AND MANDARINS: (By Marian Kent: First published in 1993 by FRANK CASS CO. LTD. ISBN 0-7146–4504–4)

“The discussions and plans for increasing synthetic aviation fuel production and particularly the Shell scheme of mid-late 1939 (for replacing one of the Air Ministry’s projected synthesisation plants with one to he built, managed and updated by the company itself in return for government financial assistance24) showed a close level of mutual dependence and co-operation. This was underlined by the private letter of 2 September 1939 from Frederick Godber (later Lord Godber) a managing director of Shell, to the Director of the Petroleum Department, F. C. Starling, explaining how, if the United States were to be unfriendly’, his company could still supply British needs from American sources simply through the device of purchasing through one of its American companies, ‘losing’ the oil in its huge stocks at Curacao, and reshipping it from there to England.”

Thus, there is irrefutable evidence of Shell being perfectly willing to deceive Americans. It is also relevant and important to read Shell’s environmental and offshore safety track record recorded in Wikipedia. Also the related Wikipedia article “Controversies surrounding Royal Dutch Shell“. The evidence in the articles is compiled from independent reputable sources.

How many Americans, if made aware of this background information, would be happy to place their trust in another foreign owned company, this time Shell, to drill in American waters?

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