The House Oversight Committee recently held a hearing to interrogate Big Oil executives about their companies’ decades of deliberate climate disinformation. A disappointing yet unsurprising outcome tells us it’s time for more climate mandates for real accountability.
Perched on the edge of the Providence River, Shell Oil’s storage facility is a disaster waiting to happen. Built on filled land at sea level, the facility sits directly in harm’s way as climate change impacts worsen. Despite knowing these risks, Shell Oil has failed to prepare its facility for climate change. CLF’s Case against… Continue reading Video: Why We’re Holding Shell Oil Accountable for Its Climate Change Impacts
Grassroots organizing led to a big win over Big Oil in Maine. And while the case continues, residents are not sitting idle.
“A flood at one of these terminals would spell disaster for surrounding communities,” said CLF President Bradley Campbell. “Yet both Shell and Gulf have failed to prepare for increasingly frequent extreme weather and have even sought to expand their facilities without addressing climate risk. These big oil companies must take the necessary steps to prevent oil and toxic chemicals from flooding into nearby homes and waterways.”
“Today’s decision means we will have our day in court on unlawful Shell decisions that left Providence families and all of Narragansett Bay at imminent risk of catastrophic oil and toxic chemical spills,” said CLF President Bradley Campbell. “The company has for years deceived regulators and the public about the global and local risks of the climate crisis. CLF will now have the opportunity to hold Shell accountable for years of neglect and outright deceit at the expense of this public safety.”
“Big oil has known about the risks of the climate crisis for decades, and their silence and inaction speak volumes,” said Brad Campbell, President of CLF. “The communities surrounding these terminals are constantly at risk of being inundated with a stew of oil and toxic materials. It’s long past time for these companies to step up and prepare their facilities for flooding and extreme weather. The courts must hold them accountable under current law to avoid catastrophe.”
“This terminal sits directly in harm’s way and is already a terrible threat to the health of surrounding communities,” said Brad Campbell, President of CLF. “This facility was severely threatened by storm surge and floodwaters in Superstorm Sandy, and an ill-conceived expansion plan will invite catastrophe. Gulf must recognize the reality of the climate crisis and ensure that a facility in this location can withstand the impacts without dumping oil and other toxic materials into New Haven Harbor.”
“The communities surrounding this facility cannot wait for the EPA to dig through a mountain of backlogged permits to feel safe,” said Bradley Campbell, President of Conservation Law Foundation. “And waiting for a major storm to expose the vulnerability of the terminal is also not an option. This case needs to move forward now so Exxon is forced to prepare for the impacts the climate crisis will have on this facility. The health of thousands of its neighbors depends on it.”
“Congress must prioritize people over polluters,” said Bradley Campbell, President of Conservation Law Foundation. “The very communities that continue to suffer disproportionately high rates of disease at the hands of big oil are now directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Any relief legislation must be focused on helping these families and not bailing out big oil and gas.”
Extreme weather caused by climate change may damage coastal infrastructure by degrading equipment containing hazardous chemicals or by flooding storage facilities. But fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and Shell would rather take their chances and do nothing to ready their facilities. CLF knows, however, that these companies have a legal duty (not to mention an ethical one) to adapt their facilities to the foreseeable effects of climate change.