Saturday, October 17, 2009

To Shell: Which side are you on?

That question is circulating today after after Royal Dutch Shell PLC Chairman Jorma Ollila said that, while Shell does not agree with the climate change stance of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Shell would most likely not be leaving the trade association.

And the flip-flopping season is officially underway.

According to E&E News (subscription required): "Ollila said there would have to be 'extreme' disagreement over policy before Shell would resign from an industry trade group."

Apparently you being on the opposite extreme of the group you are part of is not extreme enough.

Ollila continued (via E&E News)
"You don't come and go from an industry association depending on some of the news," Ollila replied when asked whether the chamber speaks for Shell on climate policy. "Industry associations are important to get our point of view heard."
Really, sir? Because the list of groups that have done just that to the Chamber is extensive and prominent.

The interesting thing about Shell is that, on paper, the company is pretty good on the environment (minus the whole oil drilling thing, of course). Also from E&E:

"Jorma, who declined to comment further on the issue, is the incoming chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The Geneva-based organization of 200 major companies is urging U.N. members to agree on firm, long-term emissions limits in a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Shell, which is based in The Hague, is a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. The coalition of blue-chip companies and environmental groups is lobbying Congress to pass emissions cap-and-trade legislation as soon as possible."
Jorma went on to say that Shell and the Chamber disagree on climate change and that Shell's position has become clear. What has become clear is, well, not much actually. Shell is starting to sound a lot like the Chamber itself: good at talking a big game, better at playing for the other team. And then the giant elephant in the room cannot be ignored either: this is an large oil company we're talking about.

Let's not pretend the truth is important.

No comments: