Shell fined a meaningless 1000 euro after gas flares at Corrib plant

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When the Corrib refinery was being built & resisted campaigners warned that environmental legislation was set up to have no meaningful impact on multinationals.  Two days ago we saw a very clear demonstration of this in practise when Shell was fined EUR1,000 of an estimated EUR240 million in Corrib sales so far this year.  Such a fine has no deterrent impact at all, it might as well have been one cent.

According to Shell to Sea
"5th September at Dublin District Court, Shell were fined EUR1,000 after pleading guilty to causing light and noise pollution from gas flaring at Bellanaboy refinery last New Years Eve. The prosecution was brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) following complaints from people living around the Bellanaboy refinery.

The EUR1,000 fine is estimated to be 65 seconds worth of current Corrib sales revenue after Vermilion, who have an 18.5% stake in Corrib gas, recently stated that Bellanaboy had reached "full plant capacity" . It is estimated that Corrib Gas sales revenues have totalled over EUR240 million so far this year, while no tax has been paid.

It is widely accepted that no or minimal tax will be paid by the developers of the Corrib Gas Project to the Irish state. Former Managing Director of the Corrib Gas project, Brian O'Cathain previously stated in 2010 "That Corrib will never pay tax". While a Vermilion investor profile estimated it would be 7 years before any tax is paid.

Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington stated "We've seen again lately how subservient the State has become to powerful corporations. Despite making almost ¼ billion euros so far this year from our natural resources, Shell will have a 0.000% tax rate for many years to come."

Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway stated "The EPA took this case to give the impression they are doing something but they stood by for years and let Shell do as they wanted, including polluting the drinking water supply of the area. Now that Shell are making millions, it is safe for the EPA to pretend to go after them".
 

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