Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image Broadwater donation seen as publicity tactic

(02/05/08) DEER PARK – The heads of Shell Oil Company and Broadwater Energy have presented a $150,000 check to United Way of Long Island, but many are questioning the sincerity of the gift.

The money is slated to go toward ?Project Warmth,? a program to help struggling Long Island residents heat their homes over the winter. However, Shell’s visit to the Island comes just a week before the New York Department of State rules whether or not to approve the placement of Broadwater’s liquefied natural gas barge in the Long Island Sound.

Some say the timing of the donation plays out like a publicity tactic. Adrienne Esposito, of the Anti-Broadwater Coalition, says it is part of a setup to make Broadwater look good. She says the money doesn’t make a bad project right.

Representatives of Shell defend the move.

“It is absolutely in the interests of Shell and our participation in the community to be part and parcel of the charitable giving of the community and we do that everywhere across the country,” says Shell Oil Company President John Hofmeister.

Environmentalists also take issue with Shell Oil’s rare sit down with Gov. Eliot Spitzer a couple of weeks ago. Esposito says the governor needs to realize the issue is not about energy, but about protecting the Long Island Sound.

The New York Department of State is making its ruling on Broadwater Feb. 12.

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