Huge ForestEthics campaign victory and a good note to end the year on
December 20, 2012
The government of British Columbia announced today that Shell is formally withdrawing its plans to drill for coal bed methane in the Sacred Headwaters. This is a huge win for ForestEthics and all of our supporters as it marks the successful termination of a moratorium on drilling we helped secure in 2008 and more than 5 years of active campaigning against one of the world’s largest energy producers. This is especially noteworthy because industry giants like Royal Dutch Shell rarely back out of natural resource projects after making infrastructure investments and conducting exploratory work.
When we first took on this campaign, we joined forces with the Tahltan First Nation, neighboring communities, and local organizations who were protesting Shell’s plans to drill more than 4,000 gas wells in their backyard: an astonishing untouched landscape through which flow the pristine salmon-bearing waters of the mighty Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers. At that time, the movement needed a group which could bring extensive experience with corporate negotiations and could broadcast the story of their struggle to the world.
With these allies, we developed a strategic “inside-outside” game plan. The inside game focused on key discussions with B.C. government decision-makers and meetings with Shell Canada President, Lorraine Mitchelmore, while the outside game focused on building substantial public opposition to Shell’s plans. The result: 100,000 people all saying “No” to dirty energy and fractured landscapes, and “Yes” to wilderness, clean water, and wild salmon.
Ours was a strategy the provincial government and Shell could not ignore. It’s what drove Shell to the negotiating table with the Province. And pushed the Province to solve what was becoming an increasingly controversial problem.
This is an incredible victory and a great note to end the year on. Please find links to photos and some initial press immediately below.
PRESS: Our Senior Energy Campaigner, Karen Tam Wu, has been working with the press a lot over the past few weeks and here is a piece that was just published in the GLOBE AND MAIL.
PHOTOS: And a slideshow of the remote Sacred Headwaters, which few people actually get to see because of its remote location in the northern BC few people actually get to see first-hand http://www.flickr.com//photos/forestethics/sets/72157632240544228/show/