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The Salinas Californian: Shell gas station reopens: ‘filed a lawsuit Monday against the petroleum giant’


The former owner of a Shell gas station that temporarily closed in north Salinas filed a lawsuit Monday against the petroleum giant in his quest to continue selling gas at another station in Marina.

The gas station at 417 N. Main St. in Salinas reopened last week under the leadership of John Edwards Inc., based in Castro Valley. The gas station and mini-mart had been closed for about eight months, according to the new

Karen Edwards of John Edwards Inc. said the company has no association with the previous owner, Mehdi Shahbazi, who has become well-known locally for his ongoing dispute with Shell Oil Co. Edwards said the North Main Street station’s new management hopes people begin again to frequent the gas station.

Meanwhile, Shahbazi, who lost his Shell franchises on North Main Street and in Marina and Monterey as a result of publicly criticizing “big oil,” said Monday he plans to continue his crusade although he has been nearly bankrupted by his efforts to buck the system.

“As they move ownership from dealers to the company store, they’re able to monopolize and control prices,” Shahbazi said. A federal judge ordered Shahbazi to stop operating a mini-mart on the North Main Street premises in December. The injunction came months after Shell revoked Shahbazi’s fuel agreement when he refused to remove signs from the Marina station accusing oil companies of gouging customers with overpriced fuel.

Shahbazi still operates a mini-mart and car wash at the fenced-off Marina station on Del Monte Boulevard at Reindollar Avenue, but Shell has been trying since November 2005 to remove him from that property as well.

Shell fenced off the Marina station’s gas dispensers in 2005 under the pretense of upgrades, according to Shahbazi. He said he still has fuel to sell and would like to resume normal operations at the station.

Comments by: johnadonovan Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:41 am
There is nothing new about Shell ruthlessly exploiting Shell dealers and then replacing them with their own staff. It has been happening on an international basis for many years.

The track record of Shell Oil Company in terms of integrity and the environment is lamentable: the sale of tainted gasoline, participation in price fixing cartels, the tragic explosion at a Shell Oil refinery in Norco in which six people lost their lives, Clean Air Act violations, repeated environmental infringements in Louisiana, a pipeline rupture in Washington State which resulted in an explosion and more deaths, repeated multimillion dollar fines for groundwater contamination, more fines for unauthorised venting and flaring of gas. Details can be found on Wikipedia at

Posted by John Donovan, co-owner of the website: and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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