Greenpeace launches whistleblowing website to expose Arctic drilling truths



 

24 April 2013 (London) —
Greenpeace International has launched a whistleblowing website today to
encourage employees and subcontractors of oil companies involved in Arctic
drilling to come forward and help expose the incredible risks corporations are
taking as they look to plunder the resources of this pristine region.

As www.arctictruth.org went
live this morning, the environmental campaign group made a direct appeal to oil
industry employees who may have access to inside information, particularly on
operational safety, poor practices and potential breaches of environmental
regulations.

This latest initiative in
Greenpeace's campaign to protect the Arctic from creeping industrialisation
comes at a time of heightened concern over the safety of drilling operations in
the region. Over the last year, Shell has lurched from one safety blunder to
another — its oil spill containment was “crushed like a beer can” during tests;
its barge failed to meet safety standards; one of its rigs ran aground in
Alaska while the other had a fire in its engine, and both are now under federal,
criminal investigation.

“Shell’s recent experience
in the Arctic has been a shambles from start to finish. If it hadn’t been for
such close public and media scrutiny, very little of the truth about the
company’s appalling safety practises would ever have come to light. That is why
we are looking for information relating to oil drilling in the far north, which
would usually be kept under wraps. The public needs to know about the
incredible risks these companies are taking each and every day they drill in
the fragile Arctic,” said Ben Ayliffe, head of Arctic oil at Greenpeace
International.

Posters advertising the new
website are appearing today in the streets surrounding the London offices of
Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell — one of the biggest oil companies leading the
Arctic resource rush. Flyers are also being handed out to employees outside the
company's headquarters in the UK and the Netherlands, whilst Greenpeace is also
launching an online charm offensive to reach Shell's staff through the professional
networking site LinkedIn.

Arctic Truth offers the
opportunity to submit information securely and in confidence. Greenpeace
International will treat all information with absolute respect and use it to
challenge irresponsible practices in the Arctic, whilst ensuring that our
sources are protected.

“The Arctic is the most
remote and technically challenging drilling environment imaginable and so far
the industry has proven that it’s simply not up to the challenge.  But
without close public scrutiny, the full extent of Shell’s recklessness and lax
attitude towards even basic safety standards would never have come to light,”
said Ayliffe. “The human, environmental and economic impacts of an accident in
the polar north would be catastrophic, and we hope this new website will reveal
the truth about the gamble oil companies like Shell are willing to take.”

Greenpeace has a long
history of documenting environmental abuses by corporations and regularly
receives information from industry insiders. This includes a concerned former
whaler tipping the organisation off about wrongdoing in Japan's 'scientific'
whaling programme and a disillusioned former employee of a waste recycling site
in England, who highlighted that much of the waste was being dumped in Africa
rather than being recycled.

ENDS

For more information,
please contact:

Stefano Gelmini, Greenpeace
press officer, t. 0207 865 8296 m. 07506 512 442

Jessica Wilson, Greenpeace International Arctic campaign, +44 7896 893118


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