Shell Abandons Plans for Gulf Fish-Killing Machine

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 29, 2007For More Information: Aaron Viles, Gulf Restoration Network, 225-615-0346Mike Lane, RodNReel.com, 504-858-0484Charlie Smith, Louisiana Charter Boat Assn., 504-481-1492Shell Abandons Plans for Gulf Fish-Killing MachineGumbo Alliance Celebrates DecisionNew Orleans, LA – In the face of ongoing popular opposition to Gulf Landing, and citing the changing LNG market in the Gulf of Mexico, Shell announced yesterday that they would finally suspend development of the Gulf Landing project. The announcement was immediately greeted with sighs of relief from many within the recreation and commercial fishing sectors, as well as conservation organizations around the Gulf.”Whether the decision was made due to economic or conservation considerations,” statedMike Lane of the sportsman website RodNReel.com, a founding member of the Gumbo Alliance for Safe LNG, “today is a great day for fish in the Gulf of Mexico. My heartfelt thanks to the thousands of readers of RodNReel.com who made this possible.”Shell’s Gulf Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal has raised concerns over potential impacts to Louisiana’s coastal fisheries due to the specific technology proposed for use at the terminal, which was proposed for 36 miles off Cameron, Louisiana. Called an open-rack vaporizer, or an open-loop system, Shell’s terminal would have run 136 million gallons of gulf seawater daily through a radiator-like heat exchange system. The physical damage from that process, the exposure to pipes holding the “260° F LNG, as well as the injection of chlorine into the water as an anti-biofouling agent means that all life in the water would be destroyed. Billions of fish eggs, larvae and zooplankton would have been destroyed annually.One of four open-loop, off-shore LNG terminals permitted, operating or proposed for the central Gulf of Mexico, the cumulative impacts of these terminals has alarmed fisheries scientists and managers throughout the region. Federal, regional and state agencies, from the National Marine Fisheries Service to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries oppose the use of the open-loop process.Just under a year ago, the Governor Blanco of Louisiana backed up her stated opposition to open-loop LNG by vetoing a proposal by Freeport McMoRan. Within 24 business hours Freeport had announced it would proceed with its terminal and utilize the fish-friendly, closed-loop alternative. While that process will necessitate the use of just over 1% of the imported LNG to reheat Gulf water, clearly it is a profitable alternative.A remarkable aspect of the public education, outreach, and lobbying that went into the LNG opposition is the unlikely coalition that developed around the issue. Alerted to the issue by the concern voiced by fisheries scientists,Mike Lane of RodNReel.com, Charlie Smith of the Louisiana Charter Boat Association, Darryl Malek-Wiley with the Sierra Club, Aaron Viles with the Gulf Restoration Network and Clint Guidry and A.J. Fabre of the Louisiana Shrimp Associationfound themselves working shoulder to shoulder to convince the Governor and other politicians and decision-makers in the state to oppose the use of this highly questionable process. Calling themselvesthe Gumbo Alliance for Safe LNG, (named after the dish Charlie cooked and served at early group meetings, as well as the breadth of ingredients in the best Gumbo recipes) the groups organized a parade of fishing boats (on trailers) around Shell’s Downtown New Orleans headquarters, filed a lawsuit against Shell, packed a committee hearing in the Baton Rouge capitol on the issue (winning a strongly worded resolution in the process), flew an airplane over the Shell-sponsored Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans towing the message “Shell ” Thanks for the music, don’t kill our fish,” and just one month ago generated over 200 phone calls into the offices of the president of Shell U.S. on the issue.Mike Lane (RodNReel.com) and Aaron Viles (Gulf Restoration Network) even went as far as the Hague, Netherlands to attend the Annual General Meeting of Shell Energy and directly challenged Shell’s President, CEO, and shareholders to modify or cancel plans for Gulf Landing. When Shell’s representative informed the Gumbo Alliance face-to-face of their plans to abandon the project it was clear that mutual respect defined the relationship, despite the three years the two sides had spent disagreeing over Gulf Landing.###Read news coverage of Shell’s decision by theAP, the New OrleansTimes-Picayune, andReuters.