Shell Stymies Shareholders' Tar Sands Inquiry Request

stop the tar sands photo

Danielle Scott via flickr.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Shell has not taken kindly to a request from UK responsible investment group Fair Pensions call for a review of the environmental and financial viability of continued investing in Canadian tar sands (The Guardian). The special resolution would be taken up at Shell's annual meeting next month.WATCH VIDEO: Focus Earth: Shell Oil Company, Are They Greenwashing
Don't Look Behind the Curtain...
In response to the request, Shell has said it has already provided all the non-commercially sensitive information it can. What's more--and this is the real kicker to me--Shell urged other investors to vote down the resolution, because:

Whilst the issues raised by the group of shareholders...are valid and would set a precedent which, if applied more generally to the company's major investment opportunities, would add unnecessary costs and duplication of efforts.

So, basically, further investigating how damaging the tar sands are--which report after report indicates massive environmental destruction and carbon emissions at least five times greater than conventional sources of oil--could call into question the environmental impact of all of Shell's future investments. And that wouldn't be so good for business.

With the completion of the next development phase of Shell's adventures in Athabasca, tar sands will account for 4% of total production.

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More on Tar Sands:
Tar Sands Less Damaging Than Coal, Shell Says - And They Sure Are Profitable
National Geographic Slams Tar Sands - Canadian Politicians Pissed
Tar Sands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth

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