Come July, after $4 billion lobbying, Royal Dutch Shell will be the first oil company to begin drilling in the Arctic. A new video parodies what an inauspicious start would look like for the company.
In the spoof, Shell holds a private party celebrating its new drilling venture, with a centerpiece a mini-drilling rig that would theoretically pump liquor for the guests. Instead of safely delivering the liquor as promised, Shell’s mini-rig spewed it everywhere. Not able to contain it or stem the flow, some staff tried to at least cap it from causing more damage.
The parody parallels a disturbing reality of how Big Oil — including Shell — has handled its spills:
More seriously, the poor performance at the party reminds us of the very real concerns with Shell’s plans. The Government Accountability Office has cited concerns with Shell’s spill response plan, raising questions about whether the equipment could withstand the extreme conditions.
The insurance giant Lloyd’s of London expressed major concerns with Shell’s plans, warning of a “unique and hard-to-manage risk,” and WestLB bank refused to fund a project with such excessive risks. Even if a spill doesn’t occur, taxpayers are footing the bill for the Coast Guard to monitor Shell, just to ensure the company is following the law for its billions in profit.
- You Think America Has A Lot of Oil Spills? Welcome to Nigeria, “the World Capital of Oil Pollution” (8/11): “Wednesday, Shell claimed responsibility for two oil spills dating back to 2008. And these are not your run of the mill destructive oil spills — they are estimated to exceed the 11 million gallons spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster. Until yesterday, Shell had claimed less than 40,000 gallons had been spilled in Nigeria … off by a factor of 275.”