Shell dumps wind and solar for agrofuels

Written by Andrea

Topics: Agribusiness

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Money speaks louder than…

Oh, yeah–just about everything, including a renewable energy future or attempts to reverse climate change.

In a not so surprising, yet utterly short-sighted and outdated move (circa 20th century, not new Millenium), Shell Oil has decided to abandon all their investments in renewables such as solar and wind energy, and transfer that business to what they have deemed more economically promising.  What have they decided to invest in?  Agrofuels–industrial scale biofuels.

Linda Cook, Shell’s executive director of gas and power, said:  “If there were renewables [which made money] we would put money into it.”  She went on, “We do not expect material investment [in wind and solar] going forward.”

Despite an ever-growing and indisputable range of scientific evidence that links agrofuels to massive deforestation, increased food prices, and establishes that over their lifecycle, agrofuels are in many instances more greenhouse gas emitting than petroleum (i.e. climate negative), Shell has chosen to put their money where their mouth is–in an industry that at first glance appears to be a good business proposition, but will do nothing in the short or long term to combat our climate crisis, or addiction to fossil fuels.

Now, more than ever, as we work to reduce our own consumption, we must also hold our government and businesses accountable to invest in the solutions and alternatives that are tried, tested and true–solutions that will turn the tide on the serious situation we all face.  Investment in real solutions are a better business proposition, and investments that harm the planet and people are a liability.  It’s our job to make sure that Shell, its shareholders, and every other company out there understands this.

7 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Alex Fraza says:

    How blind! How truly blind Shell must be, if it is unable to realize the consequences of its actions and make long-term investments in renewable energy. I doubt Shell will do anything environmentally conscious unless their profit is severely jeopardized by what may well happen in the future: more pollution, more overpopulation, more global warming, more lies, greed, and corruption, the total melting of the polar ice caps, and possibly an informed and overwhelmingly indignant populace storming the gates of Shell’s holdings… The Tragedy of the Commons continues incessantly towards oblivion, and I for one am sickened to the core. It is comforting to know, however, that I am not alone in my sentiments and that there are individuals who care deeply about this strange, beautiful,unique, and, as far as I know, the only life-bearing planet in the universe. May we all one day realize the true value of this priceless place we call our home, Earth.

    Peace be with you,
    Alexander Criss Fraza
    Clinton, Indiana

  2. Do we realy want to fuel our cars from our mountain tops? Plug them into a global warming coal fired power plant for 6 hours to drive 20 miles? The feel good electric car will cause our mountain tops to be made from discarded batteries. Agro fuel will take too much water to ever be reality. Indeed all personal transportation and air travel will become too expensive then eleminated as the cost of fuel goes up. Electrisity will be all we have but we must rub the magnets together without fire. Trains, trollies, warm buildings and laptops will be around but portable liquid fuel will not. I hope we make it.

  3. ROBERT WITT says:

    Unfortunately, corporations only interest is in making a profit. Social and environmental consequences are not a consideration and being a responsible member of our global community is not required or desired if being so stands in the way of short term profits. Our business community suffers continuously from taking the short view and instead of preparing for a profitable future, and abandons any significant research and development if there is not an immediate return. That is why there are no television sets, no computers, and soon no automobiles manufactured in the United States and why Shell has abandoned any responsible effort to solve the energy crisis. Our only response can be to avoid spending any money or investing any money in Shell or its associated companies. We already have the technology available to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. It will take strong economic pressure or legislation to turn corporations like Shell into good world citizens instead of purveyors of waste and pollution. Public outcry and action in the form of pressure on the very federal and state representatives that allow corporations to evade responsibility and change in return for large campaign contributions and other largess is necessary. It is time to vote for our best interests instead of against them. I am slightly hopeful with the current administration but the Obama team will need our strongest support and our comments and criticism. May God have mercy on us because we may have already reached the tipping point for global warming. The next great crisis will dwarf the fossil fuel problem and that will be enough water. Keep after them and work to solve the problems by grass roots involvement and pressure from the bottom up.

  4. H.K. Peters, Jr. says:

    Around the world, Shell has never been a friend of indigenous populations which stood in its way for profit.

  5. J. Nickerson says:

    To hell with Shell, worked in the state of Michigan years ago and shut down every Shell gas station in the state. Boycott Shell now and show them the new road.

  6. Lib H says:

    Please, if any of you can come to Raleigh, NC, on this Tuesday, March 24, we will experience Clean Water Lobby Day. Five issues will be addressed, including the proposed building of a coal-fired cement manufacturing plant, the fourth largest in the country. Titan,the parent company, is in Greece. Titan America requests permits to construct along the North East Cape Fear River in New Hanover County. Carolina Cement Co., a subsidiary of Titan, plans to build a coal-fired cement kiln that will emit over 260 lbs. of mercury per year into the air, along with thousands of pounds of six criteria pollutants. In addition, the company proposes to mine 1,000 acres of critically important wetlands to extract limestone rock to feed the kiln and produce Portland cement.

    EIS in progress . . .we’re asking the General Assembly to impose an 18-month moratorium on new Portland cement kilns. Come or call or write letters. For more info., go to Thanks for reading this. Please take action.

  7. Bobby says:

    Yes, to hell with shell! all she does is sell sell sell!
    Shell sells shell! Its hell hell hell!
    Let us all Yell! Yell! Yell! Time to –
    Boycott Shell!

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