Published on
by
Reuters

Shell Halts Mining as Activists Protest Oil Sands

by

Greenpeace activists place a banner and block a tar sands mining operation at the Shell Albian Sands outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta September 15, 2009. (REUTERS/Colin O'Connor/Greenpeace/Handout)

CALGARY, Alberta - Royal Dutch Shell Plc has suspended production at its Canadian oil sands mine after environmental activists blockaded a massive dump truck and mining shovel to protest the impact of oil sands development, the company said on Tuesday.

Greenpeace said 25 of its activists locked down the oil sands mining equipment at the Albian Sands Muskeg River mine in northern Alberta on Tuesday morning, a day before Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington.

Shell, which owns 60 percent of the 155,000 barrel a day operation, said it temporarily shut down mining to ensure that the activists and its staff do not get hurt.

"Shell's No. 1 concern is their safety and our preference is for a negotiated end to this demonstration," the company said in a statement. "We have invited the group into our administrative building to sit down with management to discuss their concerns."

It said Greenpeace has not tried to contact Shell to discuss the environmental initiatives it is employing in the operation.

Greenpeace said it staged the protest to highlight what it said were "the climate crimes of tar sands development -- rising energy intensity, greenhouse gas emissions, and boreal forest destruction".

The mine's other owners are Chevron Corp and Marathon Oil Corp, with 20 percent each.

Elsewhere, activists hung a 70-foot (21-meter) banner above Niagara Falls on the Canada-United States border showing arrows that point forward to a "clean energy future" and backward to "tar sands oil".

(Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Peter Galloway)

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Share This Article

More in: