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Media Advisory
Vallejo for Community Planned Renewal & Refinery Reform Campaign

For Immediate Release For More Information Contact:
November 13, 2002 Stephanie Gomes: 707/853-2801

Author of New Book On Shell Oil to Highlight Major Findings,
Will be Joined by Company’s Victims from U.S. and Around the Globe

Vallejo’s Mare Island LNG Battle Highlighted in New Book

Vallejo, CA – A major new book, “Riding the Dragon: Royal Dutch Shell & The Fossil Fire,” to be released in the United States on November 14, 2002, catalogues an astonishing range of environmental abuses by Shell Oil that fly in the face of the company's multi-million-dollar advertising and PR campaign to position itself as an environmentally and socially conscious oil company. The book also includes a chapter detailing Vallejo’s Mare Island liquefied natural gas (LNG) battle.

The new book will be available to the general public in the United States on the Web on November 14 at Vallejo for Community Planned Renewal (VCPR) will present each member of the Vallejo City Council with a bound copy of the book at the December 3 City Council meeting.

The proposed Mare Island LNG facility is detailed in Chapter 9, “Gas, Gas, Gas” under the heading, “LNG & the Golden Gate.” The Mare Island section begins with Shell’s secret negotiations with the City of Vallejo beginning in 2001 and chronicles the growing groundswell of community opposition and events leading up to the January 2003 City Council vote on the proposed project. Author Jack Doyle draws a clear and accurate conclusion about Vallejo’s LNG struggle, “The Mare Island battle is a turf fight over more than energy and the environment; it’s a fight over a community’s right to determine its future.”

“Riding the Dragon” also provides a global context for the high stakes game Shell is playing in Vallejo. By constructing the first LNG terminal on the U.S. West Coast, Shell, along with its partner, Bechtel, would become the largest energy supplier in California, the third largest economy in the world.

VCPR spokesperson Stephanie Gomes said, “This book should be a wake-up call to the Vallejo City Council. It shows, in black and white, why Vallejo should not invite Shell into our community. Shell has a proven a track record of broken promises, treating communities with contempt and disregard in the pursuit of profit, and cutting corners in ways that have damaged both people’s lives and the environment. In order to get community support for their project, Shell claims LNG is our only hope for a brighter economic future. This simply not true. Mare Island is a diamond in the rough, and with a little patience and hard work by both the community and the city, it will attract cleaner businesses that will provide more jobs and more tax revenue for the city’s coffers than Shell’s proposed project ever would. Vallejo deserves better than a dangerous, dirty and polluting gas plant. And Vallejo deserves better neighbors than Shell Oil.”

VCPR and other community groups in the San Francisco Bay Area are convening a forum on December 12, 2002, to highlight Shell’s abuses, in locales ranging from San Francisco Bay to remote regions of the world like Russia’s Sakhalin Island – purportedly the supplier for some of the LNG that would be processed at the proposed Mare Island LNG facility. Shell is currently drilling for oil and natural gas off the shore of Sakhalin in the habitat of the endangered Western Pacific Gray Whale, of which there are less than 100 remaining.

At 1:30 p.m. EST on November 14, “Riding the Dragon” author Jack Doyle will be joined in a two-way, phone-based media briefing (including live Q&A) by victims of Shell Oil environmental abuses from Durban in South Africa and Louisiana in the United States. Activists and community spokespeople from South Africa will present new scientific evidence showing that Shell Oil is attempting to cover up the extent of toxic pollution that took place in Durban on October 23, 2002.

Refinery Reform Project Coordinator Denny Larson said, "The new independent research set out in 'Riding the Dragon' confirms widespread failure on the part of Shell's managers to follow their own corporate high standards in many countries that they operate. To use Shell's own phrase, millions of your neighbors around the world want to ‘Tell Shell:’ It's high time for you to start practicing what you preach.'"

Noted researcher Jack Doyle earlier authored "Taken For a Ride," a highly regarded expose of the U.S. auto industry.

Local Action

WHAT: Riding the Dragon: Royal Dutch Shell & The Fossil Fire — A Community Forum

WHEN: December 12, 7 PM

WHERE: New College of California, 766 Valencia, San Francisco

National Teleconference

WHAT: Teleconference and Q & A.

WHEN: Nov. 14, 2002; 1:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.

TO PARTICIPATE: Dial 1-800/966-6338 (1-415/217-0050 for international callers) by 1:25 p.m. EST on November 14th and ask for the "Shell Oil" telenews event or use conference ID # 43397. A live, streaming audio replay of the telenews event will be available as of 6 p.m. EST on November 14, 2002 at oilbook.html. CONTACT: Christine Kraly, 703/276-3258 or

WHO: “Riding the Dragon” author and researcher, Jack Doyle; Chemist and 1999 MacArthur Fellow Wilma Subra; Dr. Peter Orris, Physician, Great Lakes Center for Occupational Safety & Health; Goldman Environmental Prize winner, Bobby Peek, groundWork, South Africa; Denny Larson, Refinery Reform Campaign, USA; Hilton Kelley, Shell refinery neighbor, Port Arthur, Texas; Iris Carter, Shell Chemical plant neighbor from Norco, Louisiana who led successful campaign to relocate her community away from Shell fenceline.

CAN'T ATTEND? A live, streaming audio replay of the telenews event will be available as of 6 p.m. EST at oilbook.html. In addition to the streaming audio, the Web page will feature access to the full text of the book and a related news release.

CONTACT:Christine Kraly, 703/276-3258 or



© 2002 maggdog communications
Photos courtesy of Michael Halberstadt, Joyce Scharf and Friends of VallejoCPR
Page Last Updated Jan 8, 2003