What's Shell got to celebrate?



All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
According to Shell's CEO in Alaska, #SpillsHappen
Image caption: 
According to Shell's CEO in Alaska, #SpillsHappen

We've gatecrashed Shell's swanky party at the National Gallery (for the second year running). This time, we've helped Shell launch a new art exhibit, Annus Horribilis: New works in oil. Shell may have put its Arctic ambitions on hold but we won't stop until the frozen North is put out of their reach.

It's been a disastrous year for Shell. The oil giant started 2012 full of bravado but ended it with head in hands as its oil rig, the Kulluk, sat beached off the Alaskan coast. Its drill ship, the Nobel Discoverer, slipped its anchor in a stiff breeze and failed the most basic safety tests.

Shell had no choice but to put its plans to exploit the Arctic on ice and send the Kulluk and Nobel Discoverer to Asia for repairs. Meanwhile the US government is reviewing what went wrong and hundreds of thousands of you have called on President Obama to withdraw Shell's licence to drill in Alaska.

Tell Obama to send Shell packing

When we heard the Shell was chucking a party in London, we asked ourselves what on earth do they have to celebrate? They just wasted $5 billion playing dangerous games in the fragile Arctic!

So our activists popped down to the National Gallery to help Shell apologise for this terrible year.

Shell pays a tiny fraction of their profits to cultural institutions like the National Gallery because it helps tart up their brand. We can't let them get away with that - people need to hear the true story of Shell's dangerous
incompetence. The reputational risks of Arctic drilling
are huge, and we're determined to make sure the right people know about them.

Last year we hung a giant banner proclaiming Shell's Arctic plans to be 'no oil painting' - but this year, inspired by Shell's tragic, arrogant expedition we decided to turn their black tie soiree into an art exhibition commemorating their cock ups.

We hung two giant oil paintings of the beached Kulluk outside the entrance and projected messages onto the front of the building. Outside, our smartly dressed activists greeted the guests, apologising on Shell's behalf.

There's a serious message to all this, of course. Shell promised it was Arctic Ready, but instead proved that even the largest oil companies cannot drill safely in the hostile, fragile Arctic seas.

Shell won't be going to the Arctic this year - but it's determined to go back in 2014. That's not good enough. The Arctic is a precious, beautiful place, and we can't let companies like Shell trash it.

President Obama has the power to cancel Shell's permits and make the US Arctic off limits to dangerous oil companies. It's up to us to persuade him to stop Shell and save the Arctic. Let's go.

Help us pile on the pressure. Tell Obama to save the Arctic before Shell returns.


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