NoPublicFinancingForDeadWhales/OilSpills(ACTION) April 22, 2006 12:47 PM
Act Now: No Public Financing for Dead Whales and Oil Spills
Two tax-payer funded banks-the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the U.S. Export-Import Bank-are in the final stages of considering Shell's request for public financing of the Sakhalin II oil and gas project in the Russian Far East.
Pacific Environment and our partners have stopped this financing for over five years because of the project's potential to drive the 100 remaining Western Pacific Gray Whales into extinction; the lack of an oil spill response plan; and Shell's refusal to meet the demands of local residents.
Shell's Sakhalin II project is the largest integrated oil and gas project in the world, and it seeks up to $5 billion in public financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and other public banks.
An independent panel of experts found that the off-shore platforms and subsea pipelines of Sakhalin II threaten the last 100 critically endangered Western Gray Whales with extinction, and that the loss of one additional adult female per year "would be sufficient to drive the population towards extinction with high probability."
Sakhalin II has no comprehensive oil spill response plan-much less one proven to work in dangerous sea ice conditions-and therefore poses a severe threat to the island's ecology and economy.
The project's eight hundred kilometers of onshore pipelines slice through wild salmon rivers and damage spawning beds despite the fact that salmon fishing sustains 1/3 of island's economy and is crucial to indigenous people' culture and livelihood. The dumping of dredged wastes into the fisheries-rich Aniva Bay worsens these impacts further still.
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