Thursday, March 29, 2007

Swell Shell?

What great news! The Gumbo Alliance (the Sierra Club were of course founding members) was finally victorious in our opposition to Shell's fish-killing, off-shore LNG terminal, Gulf Landing. Congrats and great work to all who made this possible - the sportsmen and concerned citizens who flooded Shell and Governor Blanco with faxes, phone calls and postcards; the funders who paid for the banner we towed over the Shell-sponsored Jazz Fest last year (Shell - Thanks for the music, don't kill our fish) and allowed Mike Lane and I to head to the Hague to take our concerns directly to Shell's CEO, President, Board and Shareholders; the fishermen who trailered their boats and circled Shell gas stations and head quarters in New Orleans, Houston and Pensacola; the agency scientists and concerned citizens who sorted through the various, often erroneous environmental impact statement appendices to really get a handle on what kind of fish impacts were at stake; the dogged concerned citizens who showed up at hearing after hearing to speak out in opposition to these projects; the Club canvassers who went door to door throughout New Orleans alerting the public; the Green Corps organizers who went where the fight was and joined us in the Gulf for a few crazy months; Walter Williams, who put Mr. Bill and his wit to work for the cause; the charter boat captains and commercial and recreational fishermen who packed the hearing in Baton Rouge and ensured some political leadership on this issue; the politicians who followed that public outcry; every founding and supporting member of the Gumbo Alliance; and finally, the student attorneys and their instructors who stood in there against the department of justice to challenge MARAD's flawed permit (and likely bought us the time we needed to win).

Whew. A lot of people put a lot of time and resources into this fight. It really shows what can be done when disparate interests put aside their disagreements to focus on a single issue and bring their passion and expertise to bear.

And whatever reasoning Shell uses to explain this decision, today is an important day for fish and the health of the Gulf. Thanks again for making it happen.

Aaron Viles
Delta Chapter