Saturday, December 06, 2008

Molly heard about this community struggle while visiting Ireland last summer. In brief the people in the area of Rossport in County Mayo, Ireland have been fighting the plans of the Anglo-Dutch international energy company Shell to build a gas pipeline and refinery in their area. The following article is from the Irish Shell to Sea website.
Molly is reprinting this because it points out an essential thing about the way that our present states operate- the so-called "public consultations". Now it is no doubt quite laudatory that the powers that be, whether corporate or government, are these days pretty much obliged to go through the motions of "consulting" local communities before initiating a project. Canada, of course, may be the homeland of this sort of thing. the ultimate government "solution" to any problem here is the dreaded 'Royal Commission', and the RCs sit on top of a massive body of "hearings".
The problem is that these exercises are so framed that their conclusion is almost inevitably that project a to z should go ahead. To my knowledge the only Canadian example of where a project was actually stopped was the Mckenzie valley Pipeline hearings. To say the least the almost 100% success rate whereby projects are given the go-ahead can hardly come about by chance.Even minor changes in the plans already made are quite rare. Molly is old enough to remember this system in its infancy, and the "justification" for it in those days was a lot more honest than it is today when the system has had decades to perfect itself. Safety valve plain and simple. Not that it is always a waste of time to participate in such things, but any participants should be fully aware that such things are a sideshow at best and devote the vast majority of their energies elsewhere.
Yes, various projects of the ruling class can be successfully opposed in our present society. The pessimists are wrong. They can ,however, only be opposed by political pressure from outside of the regular channels set up by governments to deflect opposition. Here's an example from Ireland where people refuse to participate in the environmental equivalent of a kangaroo court.
Our Gas Our National Interest (O.G.O.N.I.):
'No other country in the world has given such favourable terms as Ireland...' Mike Cunningham, former Statoil director, Ireland.
"Time to impose windfall profits tax on Shell’s Corrib find as Government plans to give away all of the Rockall offshore area" says Colm Rapple - Economist and Journalist ... Read Colm's full article here

Shell To Sea Press Release: Friday 5th December 2008:
Shell to Sea will not attend the Forum for Development in North West Mayo because of its refusal to deal with the manner in which the existing consents for the Corrib Gas Project were given to Shell. This event should not be called a Forum as attendance is by invitation only.

The Ministers have refused to address the substantive issues involved which are:
***Building a refinery within the catchment area of our regional water supply.
***The imposition of Shell's raw gas pipeline upon a non-consenting community
***The continued giveaway of our oil & gas to private companies, at a time of great public need.

Instead Shell to Sea will attend a People's Forum also to be held in Broadhaven Bay at 10am on Friday 5th of December. The People's Forum will be open to the public, to discuss their views on the Corrib Gas Project.

Shell to Sea would wholeheartedly welcome any open forum if it was willing to deal with Corrib Gas Project in its totality. Shell to Sea also object to the pressure various community & development groups in the area have been put under to take part in the Government sponsored event.

Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington stated "While Minster Eamon Ryan accepted that undoubted mistakes have been made in relation to this project, it seems that he doesn't want these mistakes to be discussed and corrected. This forum is not allowed to address the health concerns of the people of the area, the unsuitability of Bellanaboy as a refinery site or the great giveaway of our gas and oil".

Ms Harrington continued "This media event tries to intrinsically link Shell's Corrib Gas with the proper and sustainable development of the North West Mayo region, not only is no link possible, they are mutually exclusive".

Terence Conway stated "We have been seeking proper dialogue for 8 years now, and the only dialogue the Government have sent our way, is the boot and the baton of An Garda Siochana. The local community has been raising the issue of Shell polluting the local water supply for over 3 years, and yet State authorities are turning a blind eye to all Shell breaches of environmental law."
For verification contact:
Maura Harrington - 087 9591474
Terence Conway - 086 0866264

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