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Posts under ‘Gale Norton’

Revolving Doors? Kate Smith, Shell UK Head of UK Government Relations

I’ve recently learned that a Kate Smith is about to become Director of the Americas Department at the FCO.  Would this by any chance be the same Kate Smith who moved from the FCO to Shell in 2008 as head of UK government relations?   Is there any word of that Kate Smith (for it must surely be she?) taking a sideways move back to the FCO?  This kind of revolving door move from diplomatic service to Shell and back surely, if that is the case, deserves some comment?

3 May 2012

By John Donovan

Printed below is an email I sent to Mr Michiel Brandjes on 1 May, which I also copied to Kate Smith, Shell UK Head of UK Government Relations. Mr Brandjes is Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

There has been no response thus far. Any response received will be added to this article.

Reminds me of a revolving door controversy in America also involving Shell.

As US Interior Secretary, Gale Norton was responsible for the 2006 decision to award valuable oil shale leases in Colorado to a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary. Months later she became General Counsel of Shell Oil. We were approached and supplied Shell internal documents to a U.S. government agency investigating related allegations of corruption, of which Norton was eventually cleared.

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Royal Dutch Shell Reports Strong Earnings for Fourth Quarter

A version of this article will appear in print on February 4, 2011, in The International Herald Tribune.

By JULIA WERDIGIER

LONDON — Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday that its earnings had more than tripled in the fourth quarter because of higher oil and gas prices, and as investments in new projects started to pay off.

Profit at Europe’s biggest oil company rose to $6.79 billion in the last three months of 2010, compared with $1.96 billion in the same period a year earlier.

“We are making good progress against our targets, and there is more to come from Shell,” Peter Voser, Shell’s chief executive, said in a statement.

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WikiLeaks revelations: Pernicious influence of Royal Dutch Shell

It is clear from these cables that Royal Dutch Shell has the Dutch government in their hip pocket. No surprise there, the Queen must get her dividends. Royal Dutch Shell management apparently thinks it has so much influence it can dictate foreign policy matters to ALL of the G8 governments? Isn’t that a revelation. Maybe not after all we have learned about Shell’s not so secret ‘shadow government’ in Nigeria.

Article by a former employee of Shell Oil USA

No matter what you or I may think about the Wiki-leaks gang, they do produce some important revelations that I am sure the US government, et al, and RD Shell would just as soon not disclose to the public.

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: THE MOST EVIL COMPANY ON THE PLANET?

*CORPORATE TERRORISM AGAINST A FORMER SHELL EMPLOYEE
*ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NAZI SECRETS EXPOSED
*INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT: GALE NORTON, SHELL SCANDAL
*Shell employee guinea pigs in study of carcinogenic properties
*1000?s of Shell workers asked to reapply for their own jobs
*SEX, DRUGS & CORRUPTION IN USA SPONSORED BY SHELL
*ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NIGERIAN CORRUPTION SCANDAL
*WIKILEAKS: SHELL EMBEDDED SPIES IN NIGERIAN GOV
*Shell embedded spies in governments of Nigeria, Dubai and Iraq
*PDF ORIGINAL ARTICLE SHELL EMBEDDED SPIES IN NIGERIA
*SHELL SETTLES CLAIM FOR MURDER & TORTURE IN NIGERIA
*SHELL COMPLICITY IN NIGERIAN MURDER OF CIVILIANS
*UNLOVEABLE SHELL, THE GODDESS OF OIL (NIGERIA +)
*CLEAN-UP FOR NIGER DELTA AND SHELL’S REPUTATION
*Shell fueled Nigerian violence by paying rival militant gangs
*SHELL CHIEF HAD A PRIVATE ARMY (IN NIGERIA)
*SHELL PAYS $10 MILLION CORRUPTION FINE TO NIGERIANS
*SHELL ACCEPTS LIABILITY FOR TWO OIL SPILLS IN NIGERIA
*NIGER DELTA CRISIS THREATENED SHELL’S GLOBAL BRAND
*SHELL GLOBAL SPYING ON ITS OWN EMPLOYEES
*DEATH THREATS AGAINST SHELL WHISTLEBLOWERS?
*Irish Police investigate death threats to Shell whistleblowers
*SHELL “TOUCH F*** ALL” OIL RIG SAFETY CULTURE
*PAYBACK TIME FOR CORPORATE VILLAINS?
*SHELL HIDES ITS TRADING WITH FANATICAL IRANIAN REGIME
*SHELL HID TRADING IN IRAQ OIL IN VIOLATION OF EMBARGO
*SHELL IN BED WITH GADDAFI, STATE SPONSOR OF TERRORISM
*SHELL INVOLVEMENT IN AL-YAMAMAH OIL FOR ARMS SCANDAL
*ROYAL DUTCH SHELL WORLDS LARGEST “SPECULATOR”
*Shell accused of supporting Syrian regime
*Whistleblower accuses Shell of psychological torture
*Blood for oil? (The invasion of Iraq)
*Why is Shell still present and operating in Syria?
*SHELL EVEN DEFRAUDED ITS OWN SHAREHOLDERS
*IRREGULARITIES IN A SHELL TENDER PROCESS

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INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT ON GALE NORTON, SHELL SCANDAL

By John Donovan

Although their names have been redacted, it appears from this report that John Hofmeister and Malcolm Brinded were both directly involved in negotiations/discussions with Gale Norton?

If the issue of Shell corruption is raised, based on our knowledge, there is always a good chance that Mr Big Brain, No Scruples  Brinded will be involved e.g. the “Touch F*** All” safety culture on North Sea Oil Rigs, his backing for a rigged Shell contract tender and now his interesting meeting in London with Gale Norton.

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INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT ON GALE NORTON, SHELL SCANDAL – PART 3

We provided the results of our investigation to the U.S. Department of Justice, which declined criminal prosecution.

INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT ON GALE NORTON, SHELL SCANDAL – PART 2

Determination from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE)

INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT ON GALE NORTON, SHELL SCANDAL – PART 1

The Office of Inspector General concluded an investigation based on a complaint that Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) received preferential treatment during the awarding of oil shale Research, Development, and Demonstration (RDD) leases in 2005 and 2006 by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Since former Secretary Gale Norton subsequently secured employment with Shell, we expanded our investigation to consider her involvement...

Gale Norton’s departure from Shell Oil

“Ms. Norton was under investigation because there was (and still is) the ‘stench’ of corruption in the air regarding her conduct as DoI Secretary and the awarding of leases to Shell, followed by her eventual employment with Shell. Her departure from Shell indicates that Shell had no ‘further’ need for her services, and that she was a PR liability, if not a legal liability.”

John,

I read your article regarding Gale Norton’s lashing out at the investigation of her conduct in taking the job with RD Shell after leaving DoI.

Federal employees are all given ‘civilian’ employment ‘ethics’ counseling prior to exiting Federal Service. Furthermore, such counseling service is available for those who have exited and who might want take a position with a company where there might be a ‘conflict’, real or perceived.  These services were available to Ms. Norton from the DoI General Counsel’s office, or Inspector General’s Office, I am certain, and perhaps the Dept. of Justice as well. She could have availed herself of these services and sought an ‘official’ opinion from US government attorneys regarding employment with RD Shell.

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An eventful year for Royal Dutch Shell

Photograph of senior Shell official Richard Wiseman, right, was kindly offered and supplied by him for display on this website.This happened when he was still fond of us.

LEAFLET DISTRIBUTED TO SHELL EMPLOYEES AT THE SHELL CENTRE LONDON TODAY, MONDAY 13 DECEMBER 2010

As notified in advance to Mr Richard Wiseman, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, we today distributed leaflets (example below) to Shell employees at the Shell Centre in London.

Within minutes of arriving, a Shell security guard tried to move us on. When we politely refused, explaining that we were on public property and had notified Mr Wiseman of our intention, the security guard said he had never heard of Richard Wiseman and that we were not allowed to remain outside the main staff entrance. When we again declined to leave, he reported to a colleague that three people were issuing leaflets. I advised him that only two of us were doing so, the third person was a journalist from a daily newspaper.

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Ex-Interior Secretary Says US ‘Wasted Millions’ In Probe


By Siobhan Hughes  Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: DECEMBER 12, 2010, 7:56 P.M. ET

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–Former U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton lashed out days after an inspector general’s report found “no conclusive evidence” that she had broken federal conflict-of-interest laws when she accepted a job at Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) after leaving her post in the Bush administration.

“The Interior inspector general’s office wasted millions of taxpayer dollars in an attempt to find imagined wrongdoing,” Norton said in a statement circulated on Sunday. She said that she was unemployed for nine months after leaving the Interior Department and had interviewed for “a number of different positions” before joining Shell. Norton no longer works for Shell and did not say where or whether she is currently employed.

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Royal Dutch Shell in ‘hall of shame’

Ian Fraser

12 Dec 2010

Scotland’s largest pension fund is considering disinvesting in Royal Bank of Scotland shares over concerns about poor environmental, social and corporate governance at the Edinburgh-based bank.

Strathclyde, which signed the UN Principles of Responsible Investment in 2008, is also considering disinvesting in other companies – including Gazprom, Petrobras, General Dynamics, Royal Dutch Shell, Bank of America – in its hall of shame. Most were considered to have performed worse than RBS in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG).

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Interior Department Appeared To Give Shell Preferential Treatment -Report

DECEMBER 10, 2010

By Stephen Power and Siobhan Hughes

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–The federal agency that controls oil and natural gas production on U.S.-owned land “appeared to give preferential treatment” to Royal Dutch Shell PLC when the company was pursuing leases to drill on tracts of government-owned land in the western U.S. in 2005 and 2006, the acting inspector general of the Interior Department said in a report Friday.

The preferential treatment helped Shell obtain the leases and “disadvantaged” the company’s competitors, according to the acting inspector general’s report. But investigators say they found no evidence that Shell broke the law, and “no conclusive evidence” that then-Interior Secretary Gale Norton–who accepted a job with Shell several months after leaving her government post–broke federal conflict-of-interest laws.

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Former Interior Secretary Gale Norton won’t face charges

“It sounds like Secretary Norton was earning her salary from Shell even before they put her on the payroll,”

The Justice Department declined to file charges against Gale Norton. By DAN BERMAN | 12/10/10 6:15 PM EST Updated: 12/10/10 7:12 PM EST The Justice Department has declined to file charges against former Interior Secretary Gale Norton in connection with oil shale bids by Royal Dutch Shell. At issue are valuable oil shale leases that Shell won from Interior after Norton left the George W. Bush administration in March 2006 but before she took a job as a lawyer with the oil giant that December.

“We found that Norton was very interested in the [Research, Development and Demonstration] program during her tenure as secretary, but we did not find evidence to conclusively determine that Norton violated conflict-of-interest laws, either pre- or post-employment, with Shell,” Acting Interior Department Inspector General Mary Kendall wrote in a letter accompanying a report obtained by POLITICO.

The IG found that after leaving Interior but before joining Shell, Norton “failed to fully describe her role in the leasing program” to department ethics officials.” After she was hired, Norton contacted the Pentagon and Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, “indirectly,” regarding oil shale issues.

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WikiLeaks: Royal Dutch Shell Nigerian Espionage

FROM A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF SHELL OIL USA

No matter your opinion about Wiki-leaks and the founder of that organization, there is little doubt that the latest revelations regarding the degree of infiltration of Royal Dutch Shell into the Nigerian government have been potentially a great service to the people of Nigeria.

The release of these documents is also a PR nightmare for RD Shell. Does anyone now believe RD Shell management about the level of their involvement in the framing and execution/murder of Ken Sara Wiwa ? Clearly, RD Shell management knew exactly who was doing what and when. And they knew the Sara Wiwa was a target long before his arrest. Yet they did nothing, and warned no one of the governments plans. Appears like collusion to me.

And then there is the massive amount of bribery of Nigerian officials, in which Shell played a significant role. Given RD Shell’s level of knowledge of governmental affairs, those bribes most certainly were highly targeted pay-offs.

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Your chance to quiz Shell boss Peter Voser

ft.com/energysource

Next week, the person in the hotseat will be Peter Voser, the boss of one of the world’s biggest oil companies, Shell. This is your chance to ask him anything you want, from the controversy surrounding oil sands, to why Shell thinks gas is so important, to the prospects for drilling in the Gulf following the BP spill.

Email all your questions to [email protected] by the end of Monday, December 13th.

FULL FT ARTICLE

Royal Dutch Shell Arctic Issues

Article by a former employee of Shell Oil USA

UPDATED WITH COMMENTS AND MORE INFORMATION

December 4, 2010

I would like to point out that Shell Oil USA (and other operators) safely drilled a number of exploratory wells in the Arctic waters of offshore Alaska in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s without mishap. These wells were drilled in areas Shell now wants to drill. In some cases, these new wells will be delineation wells for discoveries already made by Shell and others.
 
However, RD Shell’s contentions that they are drilling in shallow water, not mile deep water, and that drilling is therefore much safer, ring hollow given Shell’s past and ongoing record in the shallow Gulf of Mexico, and even onshore. If water depth was the critical criteria Shell’s shallow water and onshore drilling operations worldwide should be ‘defect free’. They are far from that. Safety issues continue even onshore. And we only need to recall the Bay Marchand blowout in 1970 in very shallow Gulf of Mexico waters to understand that water depth is no guarantee of either safe drilling or production. That blowout was due in large part to an effort by Shell USA to develop that field as cheaply and quickly as possible.
 
However, given all the scrutiny that has fallen upon the oil industry for its slipshod ‘safety culture’ (if any real ‘safety culture’ actually exists) since the BP disaster, Shell and their partners could most probably be trusted to safely drill their desired exploration wells in both the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.
 
Actually, the US government is legally obligated to let Shell and its partners drill at some point in time. If just cause is found that would prohibit that exploratory drilling, then Shell, et al, should be refunded their lease payments, with interest. The government must act in good faith in this regard.
 
Clearly, any mishap/screw-up by RD Shell or others that caused any sort of ‘significant’ release of hydrocarbons into the fragile Arctic environment would doom any further drilling in those regions for decades to come. RD Shell along with the rest of the industry are well aware of that reality. In fact, drilling in the Alaskan Arctic must be a ‘mishap free’ affair, for there will now be no tolerance for ‘typical’ industry conduct after the BP Affair.
 
Exploratory drilling is a very short term endeavor. The bigger concern, and one that has yet to be adequately addressed, is how to exploit any significant reserves that may be discovered without serious risk and damage to the very fragile Arctic environment. That is by far the more serious and more problematic issue the government, RD Shell and the oil industry face. RD Shell and the oil industry have yet to demonstrate they can meet the technical challenges and operate safely.
 
One need only look at how BP and their partners (Exxon, et al) have operated on the North Slope and have maintained the Alaska pipeline over the years to see where the industry has placed and continues to place its priorities. And we only need to look to the Russian Arctic to see what the consequences of serious releases of hydrocarbons will be. That is not a matter of speculation. And Shell USA’s past operational record in Alaska, RD Shell’s environmental record in the Arctic in Russia are indicative of the company’s attitude toward environmentally safe operations in the Arctic. Shell USA had diesel fuel spill issues associated with the improper abandonment of discovery wells (induced by improper internal ‘reserve bookings’ issues) at a prospect called Seal Island (now renamed Northstar by BP I believe). And recently the Russian government took harsh action against Shell as a consequence of environmental issues at Sakhalin II. How RD Shell operates and has operated in the Alaskan and Russian Arctic are very relevant because this conduct is indicative of Shell’s corporate attitude regarding environmental issues. And this is senior level management’s attitude. After all, they lead that company.
 
While Shell and others may indeed be allowed to drill exploratory wells, there is absolutely no guarantee that they will be allowed to develop any reserves that may be discovered. Any such effort will ultimately end up in US courts and face legal challenge after legal challenge. I question whether they would ever be allowed to exploit those discoveries at anytime in the near future. It could take decades, literally, for the resulting political and legal challenges to be overcome.
 
Given the continuing development of massive gas reserves in the lower 48 States, and the rather limited potential for oil in the Alaskan Arctic offshore, estimated to be around 20 billon bbls, I don’t see any real imperative to develop those known gas and oil reserves given the potential ecological damage that could occur from slipshod industry operating practices. These oil reserves are spit in the bucket compared to the exploitable onshore oil sand reserves in Alberta and Venezuela. And there are serious environmental damage issues associated with the development of those reserves as well.
 
To further exacerbate the problem of drilling in the Alaskan Arctic is the fact that the US government has no agency capable of regulating the oil industry effectively. The Dept. of the Interior has been and is completely compromised by the coziness between the oil industry, politicians, and senior bureaucratic leadership. A great example of this completely improper relationship is the Gale Norton affair, and the other associated ‘sex and drug’ scandals that rocked MMS in recent years. DoI operates more like the corrupt bureaucracy of a third world country than they do of a modern democracy based upon the rule of law. And Shell has had a big hand in the deliberate corruption of that bureaucracy.
 
The modern US Republican party was born in large part in Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, Texas, the one-time capital of the world wide oil industry and still the capital of the US and North American/South American oil industries. The coziness between the oil industry and the modern Republican party is legendary. However, large sums of oil industry money flow to both political parties and to lobby organizations who effectively gut the regulatory power of governmental agencies and prevent the establishment of an effective regulatory agency.
 
Until the impotence of the US government to effectively regulate the oil industry is remedied, I see no possibility of development of hydrocarbon reserves in the Alaskan offshore, regardless of how much oil and gas may be discovered. The arrogance and corrupting influence peddling of the large major oil companies, which ultimately led to/contributed to BP’s latest offshore disaster have doomed that possibility.

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Kempthorne, Norton tell Congress major oil spill in Gulf beyond what anyone expected

Gale Norton “sent a clear message: the priority was more drilling first, safety second,” Waxman said.

Associated Press

Published July 20, 2010

WASHINGTON

Two former Interior secretaries told Congress Tuesday they did not anticipate an accident as large as the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

But Gale Norton and Dirk Kempthorne say no one else did either — including members of Congress who are now blaming the Bush administration for failing to prevent the tragedy.

Kempthorne, who served as Interior secretary from 2006 to January 2009, while George W. Bush was president, said he did not recall being asked at his confirmation hearing or in later congressional testimony about major oil spills.

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U.S. goverment was repeatedly warned blowout preventers (BOPs) used on offshore wells were unreliable

On multiple occasions, reports prepared for the Minerals Management Service (MMS) warned that the blowout preventers (BOPs) used on offshore wells were unreliable. The Department never acted on these warnings.

THE HUFFINGTON POST

Interior Secretaries Under Bush And Obama Exposed By House Panel For Lax Oversight Of Oil Drilling

07-20-10

A tough new memo from a House committee probing the Gulf oil spill exposes the Interior Department under Presidents Bush and Obama for its failure to properly oversee offshore oil drilling operations. The three most recent Interior Secretaries — Gale Norton (2002-2006), Dirk Kempthorne (2006-2009), and Ken Salazar (2009-present) — all come in for withering criticism and are due to testify at congressional hearing on Tuesday, where they are sure to be asked tough questions about their tenure.

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Former Interior Secretary: Attitude of ‘Mutual Problem Solving’ With Oil Industry Under Bush

The Washington Independent

By Andrew Restuccia 7/20/10 12:52 PM

Former Interior Department Secretary Gale Norton told a congressional panel today that the department, under her tenure, saw its relationship with the oil industry when permitting and licensing offshore drilling projects as one “of mutual problem solving.”

Norton’s remarks came during a House Energy & Commerce Committee joint-subcommittee hearing on the Interior Department’s involvement in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Norton, who served as Interior secretary from 2001 to 2006 under President Bush, took a job with Royal Dutch Shell after resigning, leading to a Department of Justice probe.

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Probe of Ex-Interior Secretary Norton’s Handling of Shell Winds Down, Sources Say

THE CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY

By Peter H. Stone | July 09, 2010

A Justice Department probe into whether former Interior Secretary Gale Norton (right) illegally gave preferential treatment to Royal Dutch Shell Group, which later hired her for an executive job, is expected to end soon without any charges, say sources familiar with the inquiry.

The probe was looking in part at Interior’s decision to grant three lucrative oil shale leases on federal lands in Colorado to a Shell subsidiary in January 2006. Norton left the top job at the department in March 2006, and said she had not lined up a new position. About nine months later, Shell hired Norton as general counsel for its U.S. unconventional resources unit.

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Real reason behind Shell spying operation on the Donovans?

“It would indeed be ironic if the resources of one investigative arm of the U.S. government has been used by Shell in an attempt to impede the Shell/Gale Norton corruption investigation being carried out by another investigative arm of the U.S. government.”

By John Donovan

In December 2009, following an analysis of Shell internal communications and documents supplied to us by Shell in response to a SAR application under the Data Protection Act, it became clear that Shell had once again resorted to cloak and dagger activity directed against us.

Reuters revealed that Royal Dutch Shell had asked an anti-fraud agency “NCFTA”, to target our website – royaldutchshellplc.com – on the basis  that “There will be no attempt to do anything visible to Donovan”.  The article said that NCFTA, the US National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance in Pittsburgh, did not respond to emails or telephone calls from Reuters on the subject.

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Feds’ offer of new oil shale leases nets 3 takers

In a separate investigation, the Department of Justice is looking at whether former Interior Secretary Gale Norton used her position to steer three of the leases issued in 2007 to Royal Dutch Shell PLC, her employer after she left the federal government.

Gale Norton’s Questionable Oil Industry Work

THE HUFFINGTON POST: Colorado’s Top 5 Scandals of 2009

Luis Toro: Director, Colorado Ethics Watch

Posted: January 8, 2010 10:20 AM

Gale Norton’s Questionable Oil Industry Work: In September 2009 the Department of Justice issued subpoenas as part of an investigation into Bush administration Interior Secretary and former Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton. The Department of Justice is reportedly investigating whether Gale Norton used her position in the Interior Department to benefit Royal Dutch Shell by allowing her department to enter into three potentially lucrative amendments to oil leases with Royal Dutch Shell on federal land in Colorado, then took a job as an adviser to the oil-shale division of Royal Dutch Shell.

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Royal Dutch Shell Chair Backs Carbon-Trading System

He declined to say whether Shell is cooperating with a Justice Department investigation of allegations of corruption involving former U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton, saying that's a matter for Shell's management team.

SEX, DRUGS & CORRUPTION SPONSORED BY SHELL

SEX, DRUGS & CORRUPTION SPONSORED BY SHELL

By John Donovan of royaldutchshellplc.com: October 2009

Shell senior management pretends that it stands resolutely behind the anti-corruption pledges in the Shell General Business Principles.

This scandal had it all; bribes, drugs, sex and oil. As can be seen from the supporting evidence and articles below, Shell was a prime sponsor of the immoral and illegal activities, which also breached Shell’s claimed ethical code. Further proof that Shell General Business Principles are a complete fraud.

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the U.S. Department of The Interior and the Office of Inspector General initiated an investigation in 2006 after receiving allegations from a confidential source that improprieties were occurring within the Royalty in Kind Program (RIK). The following extracts in italics, not necessarily in original order, are taken directly from the official report.

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Infamy of the former interior secretary, Gale Norton

Denver Post

Greene: Integrity breaks new ground at Interior Department

By Susan Greene
Denver Post Columnist

Posted: 10/22/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT

It takes a special something to become the first and only member of George W. Bush’s Cabinet investigated formally for criminal corruption.

That distinction goes to Colorado’s own Gale Norton.

I write not to inflict more infamy on the former interior secretary as federal grand jury subpoenas make their way into her mailbox.

Rather, it’s worth noting how far the Interior Department has come since Norton, her successor and their one-time boss, the former oilman turned president, were giving away oil-shale leases like samples at Costco.

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Oil shale future for U.S.? New rules are in place

The Department of Justice already has launched a probe into whether Bush's Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton used her position to steer three of the six potentially lucrative oil leases to Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the company she works for now.

U.S. Re-Examines Bush-Era Changes to Oil-Shale Leases

On Jan. 15--days before President Barack Obama took office--the Interior Department offered exclusive "lucrative benefits" to six oil-shale lease holders in a way that raised "serious concerns," Mr. Salazar wrote in a letter to the Interior Department's inspector general. Three of those leases are held by a unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC for parcels in Colorado.