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The Groningen Scandal: Shell and its partners, unleashed devastating Earthquakes in Pursuit of Profits

The seismic activity caused by this relentless extraction has led to the destruction of over 85,000 homes, leaving countless families displaced and their lives shattered.

Posted 10 June 2023 by John Donovan

The Groningen gasfield, boasting a colossal 2.8 billion cubic meters, stands as a testament to the insatiable greed of Shell and Exxon Mobil, the companies jointly responsible for its management. With the extraction operations by their joint venture company NAM spanning over 60 years, these oil giants have raked in huge profits, leaving a trail of destruction and misery in their wake.

In a stunning display of disregard for human safety and the environment, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte now faces mounting calls for his resignation as evidence emerges of his government’s decision for NAM to proceed with gas extraction in the northern Netherlands, fully aware that it would result in devastating earthquakes.

Despite mounting evidence of the cataclysmic consequences, Rutte’s government shamelessly continued to exploit the gasfield, leaving the people of the region to suffer the consequences. The seismic activity caused by this relentless extraction has led to the destruction of over 85,000 homes, leaving countless families displaced and their lives shattered.

Even in the face of overwhelming evidence and pleas from experts, Rutte stubbornly defended his government’s actions. It was only in 2018, when a monstrous earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale struck the town of Huizinge, that Rutte finally acknowledged the magnitude of the problem. But his belated realization does little to absolve him of the years of lies and disregard for the rights and safety of the people of Groningen.

While Rutte managed to survive a confidence motion, his tenure remains marred by his flagrant negligence and blatant prioritization of profit over people’s lives. It is an outrageous testament to the twisted priorities of our times that the Dutch government allowed this environmental catastrophe to continue for so long, all for the sake of financial gains.

As the cries for Rutte’s resignation grow louder, the true extent of the damage inflicted upon Groningen is becoming apparent. It is a chilling reminder of the power and influence Shell wields, enabling them to exploit resources and manipulate governments with impunity.

The promised €22 billion for reparations over the next 30 years is merely a feeble attempt to mend the irreparable damage caused by Shell and Rutte’s callous actions. It is a debt that can never truly be repaid, considering the immense suffering and loss endured by the people of Groningen.

The protests outside parliament by the people of Groningen speak volumes. They refuse to be silenced and demand justice for the harm inflicted upon their lives and their homes. Rutte’s hollow promises of being “part of the way forward” offer little solace to those who have borne the brunt of his government’s recklessness.

It is high time we hold Shell and Rutte accountable for their unforgivable actions. Their pursuit of profits has cost us the safety and well-being of an entire region, leaving behind a legacy of devastation and broken lives. Let this serve as a chilling reminder of the ruthless and destructive nature of the oil giant and its allies in power.

Once again, Shell has proven its unyielding commitment to profit at the expense of human lives and the environment. As the dust settles on this shameful episode, the Dutch people are left to bear the scars inflicted by this insatiable and callous oil giant and its American partner.

Right of Reply: Shell is invited to point out for correction any factual inaccuracies and supply closing comments for publication as part of this article on an unedited basis. 

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