Finally, Big Oil is having to pay for the wasteland and violence that they've created. President Jonathan supports the Shell fine, and progressive Senators are pushing for strong regulations, but oil companies are slick, and without huge international support MPs could buckle under the pressure.
Politicians are deciding their positions right now -- sign the urgent petition for the Nigerian Parliament to fine Shell and support the bill, and then forward this to everyone -- when we hit a million signers we'll bring our unprecedented global call to the steps of Nigeria's Parliament:
Experts say that every year Big Oil spills as much crude into the Niger Delta as an Exxon Valdez, but as it is Africa, it gets little media play. After a leak occurred at Shell's Bonga oil facility last December, millions of gallons poured into the ocean and washed up on the densely populated coast -- resulting in one of the largest African oil spills ever. The fine and bill on the table are a once in a lifetime chance to stand up to Big Oil.
Oil companies have made $600 billion in the last 50 years in Nigeria, but locals don't see the benefits. Their land, drinking water and fishing grounds are ruined. And Shell has spent hundreds of millions of dollars a year on security forces, repressing protest against its harmful practices.
The oil industry is crucial to the economy, but companies have never been held to account for the devastation of drilling. Now, the Nigerian President and a few brave MPs are speaking out and they could finally slam the oil giants with tough fines and give fair pay outs to the victims. If we show MPs that the world supports these crucial steps, we can literally change the lives of millions. Click below to sign the urgent petition:
Avaazers have stood up to Big Oil all over the world, from Chevron in Ecuador, to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, to ending fossil fuel subsidies at the Rio Summit. Now let's do it for Nigeria too. Make sure the politicians send a message to Big Oil: your days of impunity are over.
With hope and determination,
Pascal, Patricia, Alex, Ricken, David, Rewan, and the Avaaz team
Shell Faces $5 Billion Nigeria Fine (Wall Street Journal)
Shell urged to pay Nigeria $5bn over Bonga oil spill (BBC)
Shell's grip on Nigerian state revealed (The Guardian)
U.N. slams Shell as Nigeria needs biggest ever oil clean-up (Reuters)
Nigeria: Oil spill investigations 'a fiasco' in the Niger Delta (Amnesty International)