The powers that be in our government and the corporate influence behind it, are all canoodling behind the scenes. They’ll soon announce a deal that’ll give Cairn Energy 9 billion US dollars to fund its Arctic destruction plans.
Cairn energy is one of the few companies which wants to drill in the Arctic – and just like BP’s unshakeable faith in the Deepwater Horizon, Cairn says the Arctic can be exploited safely. Cairn and the Indian government are partners in the oil wells of Rajasthan. The British mining company Vedanta is interested in acquiring Cairn’s Indian investments. What does this Indian oil money mean to Cairn? Put simply, it will fund drilling in Arctic and threaten this fragile environment.
There is plenty of evidence, including an estimated “1 in 5 chance” (according to the US Minerals Management Service) of a significant spill occurring over the lifetime of energy activity in the Alaskan Arctic, and the oil industry itself admits that there is no known way to clean up an Arctic oil spill. So far, Cairn has refused to disclose its emergency response plan.
Do we have a say in the Indian deal? No not really, we’ll be informed via a press conference. Cairn Energy will probably announce – ‘we’ve got the money and now we’d like to squeeze out the last remaining drops of oil from the final frontier, the pristine and ecologically sensitive Arctic region. And for this, Vedanta will help fund our plans by buying our assets in Rajasthan.’
The Arctic is one of the last frontiers where the oil industry can continue its growth rate. But it’s also at the front line of climate change. The ice cap here is retreating rapidly – in fact the melting of the ice is the reason the oil giants are so interested in moving in here. They want to drill for oil that was previously trapped beneath the ice.
The environmental consequence of drilling in the Artic recognises no boundaries. The consequences of the damage done in Greenland could very well be felt in India – as the burning of fossil fuels causes climate change, with all that entails including extreme weather and rising seas. And that is precisely the reason why we must act now.
Cairn won’t ask you what you think of the deal, and neither will the government. But we won’t go down that easy. We’ll write about it, blog about it, make a hue and cry about it. Regardless of what eventually happens, we’re here doing what we can to throw a light on Cairn’s drilling and, if possible, stop it.
We started this campaign on the 29th May by occupying the Liev Eiriksson rig. Two of our activist occupied the drill bit area in an effort to delay the oil exploration work in the Arctic. They successfully prevented Arctic destruction for four days and were arrested on the fifth. Inspired by the contribution of those two brave activists, a contingency of around 18 activists boarded the rig and, in an orderly manner, demanded Cairn energy to release its oil spill response plan. Cairn Energy instead had us arrested. They didn’t stop at that; they sued Greenpeace for delaying their Arctic destruction plans. You can see how the last minutes of their marathon protest unfolded in the live feed they maintained for the duration of their vigil.
But that was not the end of the campaign. To continue our battle we need your help, we need the global community to expose Cairn Energy. We need the Indian government to act responsibly and block the funding of Arctic oil drilling. And we need it to happen now.