We “act with respect for people, their communities, the environment, human rights and the law.”
These are the words that Cairn Energy, a small Scottish oil and gas company based in Edinburgh, has written in their 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Plan.
Cairn Energy has been attempting to drill for marginal oil in Greenland and has so far been responsible for:
Releasing hazardous substances that the Danish environmental authorities deemed “unacceptable” and “in violation of international regulations”
Two chemical spills between 2009 and 2011
Prospecting for oil in areas that at Cairn’s own admittance are “sensitive in terms of biodiversity” and are home to the IUCN Red List species blue whale, narwhal, polar bear and Atlantic halibut.
The Arctic is a very fragile environment. An oil spill the size of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster would be catastrophic. Imagine how difficult it would be to mount a response to another disaster in such a remote and unforgiving environment as the Arctic.
In 2010 and 2011 Cairn drilled a total of eight wells in Greenland. They made no discoveries worthy of commercial exploration. Cairn have decided to go back into the Arctic to explore in 2014, however there are still serious concerns about their plans. They have been described to the 'Protecting the Arctic' UK government committee as a 'cowboy' operation - and they oil spill response plan has previoiusly been heavily criticised.
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Please send a personal message to Mr Thomson, the Chief Executive of Cairn Energy, usign the model letter below. We will forward all your messages to Cairn.