Last Friday, I found myself in Pensacola, Florida getting ready to greet the oil as it hit Florida’s white sand beaches. But just as I arrived, we started hearing reports that the oil had arrived in unprecedented amounts in Barataria Bay, and the barrier islands that served as breeding grounds for the area’s birds.
The very first photographs of oil-covered pelicans had started to hit the newspapers. As BP’s latest attempt to stem the oil flow seemed to be succeeeding, we were seeing the beginning of the worst effects of the oil spill we had seen yet — plainly suffering wildlife that cannot be protected or rescued fast enough.
|River Shay walks his dog Smash in the front yard of his Grand Isle, Louisiana house planted with crosses with the names some of the marine life, seafood dishes and recreational activiites that are being lost due oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico. © Jose-Luis Magana/Greenpeace|
View more images of the oil spill on Flickr
A little ways off by boat — not more than a 10-minute boat ride — you can visit Queen Bess Island, home to the endangered Brown Pelican, a bird that has recovered from past population problems related to pesticides. When we visited, the island was surrounded by booms and boats couldn’t get very close, but you could count probably 10-15 pelicans that were partly or fully covered in oil. Many of them would not survive the night. Since we’re not trained to rescue them ourselves, we called in what we had seen to wildlife rescue — we know that teams are going back and forth to the islands, but it’s frustrating to see no rescue teams there. You just feel helpless.
At Grand Terre, a bigger nearby island, the beach was covered in oil. It was on the sand, and there were thick pools of it along the edge in the water. Dirty sorbent booms had washed up on the shores, totally saturated in oil. Again, we saw no BP workers — where are the 20,000 workers that President Obama says are out here cleaning up this mess? And aren’t we all tired of cleaning up after dirty energy? When will we have an energy policy that protects the things we love from catastrophes like this? This has to be the moment of change, unless we want to see this and feel like this again and again.
The locals here know that it’s going to be a long time, decades, before Grand Isle is the place that they remember. This is the new Gulf Coast. You can’t clean it up much at all, and the little that could be done isn’t being done fast enough. As the oil spreads through the Gulf tainting the waters, the islands, and the wildlife, BP and the President stand up at press conferences and tell us they’re doing all they can. But we’ve seen the truth and it’s not pretty — it’s a failed energy policy, a failed response, and a failure of humanity.
Today we mark the 46th day of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, at this point the worst in American history. Millions of gallons of oil and toxic dispersants have entered the delicate ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, BP CEO Tony Hayward recently complained that he wants his "life back." He has since recognized the selfishness behind his statement, but what have we, the concerned citizens, realized since this incident?
|Rob Weissman, president of Public Citizen, center, speaks flanked by Rev. Lennox Yearwood, of Hip Hop Caucus, left, and Phil Radford of Greenpeace. View more images from the citizens arrest protest on our Flickr page.|
Have we learned any lessons from this and other environmental catastrophes?
It appears as though our nation is becoming ‘used’ to oil spills. Ixtoc I in the 70’s, Exxon Valdez in the 80’s, Mega Borg in the 90’s, and now the Deepwater Horizon. All told, hundreds of millions of gallons of oil have terrorized our waterways and countless lives have been affected by these spills.
Why do we still permit this industry to thrive (Note: BP has legally escaped paying $172,508,633 in royalties to US taxpayers on leases it operates in the Gulf of Mexico, but has made $6 billion in profits over the first quarter of this year) despite the fact that the consequences of their actions remain clear? Isn’t one environmental disaster enough to stop the drills?
We stood in front of BP's DC offices and listed charges against the corporation, including worker safety and environmental violations, price-gouging, negligence, and the inability to adequately respond to the mounting catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding communities. The charges culminated in a finding of criminal negligence and the presentation of a prison jumpsuit fitted for CEO Tony Hayward.
Hayward oversees a company that is responsible for causing the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. BP has one of the worst records of environmental and worker safety violations of any oil company operating in the U.S. It has paid $730 million in fines and settlements for environmental and worker safety violations, was currently on probation for felony environmental violations, and has been found guilty of manipulating energy markets.
BP’s record is clear. Our response must be as well.
Eleven people are no longer alive because of BP’s negligent behavior. At least 491 birds, 227 turtles, and 27 mammals, including dolphins, have been found dead. The true extent of the environmental damage won’t be known for years. BP must be held accountable for its actions immediately.
Jo Billups is a friend and supporter of Greenpeace who lives in the Gulf region.
I was born in New Orleans and grew up on the Bayou. I spent my childhood looking at alligators and being on the river. I used to go fishing on these waters, and my dad had a camp at South Pass.
The Gulf is such a big part of my life. That’s why the oil spill has been so hard.
I feel betrayed. BP should never have been allowed to put our communities and our ecosystem at risk like this. Eleven people are no longer with us because of offshore drilling. All our fishermen, shrimpers and oystersmen are out of work. Our culture is in ruins.
The fishing community
Most people in the fishing community live paycheck to paycheck. They’ve been working on their boats all year and investing everything they have into them. Now, as soon as fishing and oyster season opens, they can’t fish. The spill has stopped the fishing industry. The fish are starting to wash up dead.
Our community is centered around the beach life and the Gulf. So many people make their living off it and they’ve done it for generations. The fishermen are fishermen because their fathers and grandfathers were fishermen. It’s the same for the shrimpers and the oystermen. Who knows if they’ll ever be able to return to life as they knew it on the Gulf. An entire way of life has been devastated.
Over this last month I’ve gone from walking the beaches for pleasure to walking the beaches in search of dead animals and animals in need. There is a split reality here. You’ve got people lying on the beach in bathing suits, and 60 feet away there are dead sea turtles and people in hazmat suits. You’ve got people who know it’s dangerous and won’t get near the water, and you’ve got people coming down for vacation.
There’s a lot of denial. BP just paid the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce $500,000 for a campaign that says “Come on down, the water’s fine.” But the reality is there’s a lot of fear and anxiety. The tourist industry is beginning to suffer. Memorial Day is coming up and a lot of the hotels are not booked.
I don’t think I’ll ever swim in the Gulf of Mexico again, or eat fish from the Gulf. Some people are still at the beaches and the seafood is still being served at the restaurants, but I haven’t seen any tests being done. They’re going to need to do a lot of testing to ensure that fish is safe to eat.
Everybody will tell you that it smells like kerosene. People are coughing and complaining of headaches, dizziness, and nausea. The air is toxic, and we’re being told that we’re not smelling anything.
From the minute the leak began BP said it wasn’t leaking. From the very first day BP has been lying about this. We need to constantly combat the misinformation. BP has people cleaning the beaches of dead animals, like it didn’t happen. Our beaches have never been cleaner. They won’t give us the information. They won’t give us a true animal count. They’re doing such a huge campaign to make it seem like it’s not as bad as it is.
But this is happening. The Bayou Region is being destroyed, and now we are approaching hurricane season. People aren’t even talking about this yet, and it could be bigger than anything we’ve seen. It won’t take a big hurricane to push this oil inland. It won’t take much to push this up to drinking water sources, up the Mississippi.
Everyone down here is just coming back from Katrina, and a hurricane would be devastating. If we get a 30 foot tidal wave of oil there’s no way to tell the damage it will do. We saw the damage water alone that was done after Katrina, and now we’re adding oil and dispersants to the mix. No one knows how bad that could be because it has never happened. We’re truly in unchartered waters.
The government can prevent this
I hope people realize that fossil fuels are dirty, nasty and dangerous to people and ecosystems.
To be dependent on fossil fuels is like being in the dinosaur age. We have to more forward. We have got to harness the sun, the water, and the wind. We need to embrace clean energies. I do not trust energies that put people and ecosystems at risk. Alternative fuels are the only answer.
I hope people learn to question and not become complacent about dirty energy operating in their backyards. Those rigs have been there all my life. When something is there that long you get lulled into a false sense of security. Every single rig has the potential to cause this kind of damage. I hope that people learn to speak out and not allow this to happen in their community. It can ruin everything.
I’ve been teaching others about recycling, biodiversity, and conservation for 20 years, but that doesn’t touch what’s happened here. This goes beyond the lesson I was teaching. You can teach those concepts, but if you’ve got BP in your backyard it doesn’t matter how much you recycle or conserve.
Our government can stop this. I’d like to know the plan so that this never happens to another community like it did to mine. I’d like to hear the government’s plan to spare any other communities from having to deal with a disaster like this one.
- Jo Billups
We started the morning going to a marine shop to buy the charts we needed to go off the coast and look for oil on the beaches. The guy from the shop, Mark, was curious about what we were doing there, and we told him we are from Greenpeace.
By the charts we requested, he knew we were there for the BP Deepwater Disaster oil spill, which led him to tell us, “We’ve been making a living off the oil industry, supplying them, for the last 20 years. At what cost?”
We could see all the concern about the tragedy in his face. But when I asked him his name and post at the shop (I presume he is the manager), he asked me not to mention that. “It could be bad for business.” So they will keep making money out of oil…
You can’t stay here
|VENICE, LA – A glob of washed up oil sits on the shore near Port Eads, Louisiana, May 10, 2010. Greenpeace found the first traces of oil onshore at Port Eads, the southernmost tip of Louisiana. Dan Howells, Deputy Director of Campaigns at Greenpeace, and conservation specialist Rick Steiner collected samples of the oil on the beach and documented what they saw with photographs. The oil onshore at Port Eads shows that it is reaching the mouth of the Mississippi, putting even more species of Louisiana’s coastal habitats at risk—including animal and plant species that thrive only in these wetlands. Click here for more news and photos about the oil spill, plus ways you can take action to prevent the next spill. Photo by Dan Howells/Greenpeace.|
As we try to approach the boom as much as we can (we can’t cross it), we hear a loud horn. A minute later a boat full of unidentified people approach us and tell us we can’t stay there.
We think, “They don’t have authority to say that!” and keep photographing the cleaning. We decide to go further, but then the Marine Guard approach us (probably warned by the unidentified guys).
“Bla bla bla, you can’t stay here, you can’t move forward, you will interfere with the cleaning .” How? We are soooo far away! But we obey.
As we leave the spot, we stop to ask to the guys in the first boat who they are.
“Are you guys working for BP?”
They hesitate, but say, “Yes.”
“Is this work to clean the beach?”
“You have to go back to town and ask the guys with the papers.”
Well, transparency is definitely not the word, here.
We stop at a beach just nearby, where our folks found the oil yesterday. Although I know I came here to see this, it is really shocking to see the oil spots in the sand as soon as we get off the boat. But it gets worse, as we see that the oil has been retained by the reeds, all over, as the tide went down.
I ask Rick Steiner, “ Is this just the tip of the iceberg?”
“Yes,” he says, “this is probably the first oil that leaked after the accident and it is reaching these beaches now. Even if they contained the leakeage today, there are at least 5 million gallons of oil down there, ready to resurface anywhere, just like this.”
This is terrible to hear. What’s worse is that the hurricanes season is coming and might bring up the oil that is in the water and spread it in the Mississipi delta. That’s the horriffic scenario we’re facing.
The lawyer wars
As I arrived at the hotel, last night, it was disgusting to see the advertising on the TV, where a lawyer was offering his services to the oil victims. It is even toll free. “ If you feel harmed and you are losing money in your business, call us now!” he says. It is directed to businesses, restaurants, fishermen, anyone. Very greedy.
On the other hand, BP is paying $5,000 to each fisherman, clearly with the intention of avoiding such suits. They were even asking them to sign a paper saying they would not sue BP, but stoped doing it, after the thing was publicized.
In another legal battle that seems to be starting, people are opening suits against BP and asking the government to make them stop throwing oil dispersants into the gulf. “Last weekend we could smell it from the docks”, a businessman told me. According to Rick Steiner, dispersants are as toxic as oil and have the only objective of sinking the oil, avoiding it rising to the surface as an oil slick. Good for the birds, bad for the fish. Worse for the environment.
Yesterday, Friday May 7, we met a few media crews in Biloxi Mississippi. We got on a boat with one of the crews and headed out into the waters of the Gulf. Rumor has it, and there are lots of rumors, this disaster of a spill is moving but the million dollar question is where is it moving and where/when will it hit the coast. They may be closing another area to fishing to the West of the mouth of the Mississippi so the oil must be going there? Pods of journalists are spread out along the shores looking for the picture they want. One journalist commented the lack of visible oil is good for the environment not good for pictures.
We did see oil (likely mixed with dispersant) quite a ways out from the port. According to maps we were at the edge of the "Zone of Uncertainty" to whether or not the oil would be going there. The lack of pictures of oil slicks coming ashore is missing the point and the spin from BP is good. "Dispersant," besides being toxic in and of it self and more so when it combines with the oil, is giving folks the impression the oil is dispersing and everything will be OK. They're not seeing the oil so maybe there's not a problem.
Problem is we've got estimates of over 200,000 gallons of oil per day sitting in the Gulf, dispersed or not. The oil is toxic, everyone agrees with that. The dispersant is toxic everyone agrees with that. Whether in long (un)impressive streaks across the surface or sinking to the bottom it's all toxic. And just because much of it is currently escaping the human eye does not mean it isn't there. One way or another the fish will eat it and the birds will eat them likely killing both.
Greenpeace is going to see what we can do to find out what BP doesn't seem to want us to know about the rest of the oil. Again we hope the measures BP takes to stop the spewing oil works. But the disaster has already taken place. The oil is already in the gulf. Economic and environmental damage has been done. Lives have been lost. The so called "Zone of Uncertainty" certainly can't escape the reality of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Rick's been helping governments respond to oil spills for the past 30 years (an unusually prescient career choice). A resident of Cordova, AK he found a spill in his front yard in the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster.
|Read more blogs, news, and take action to prevent the next oil spill|
The fact that people who lost their livelihoods in the Exxon spill waited 20 years before they saw a nickel of compensation from Exxon is not happy news here, but Rick pulls no punches and gives straight answers. It’s as welcome — and as rare — as a cool breeze in Louisiana.
“The executives at BP must be reading the Exxon spill response playbook because they’re doing exactly what Exxon did,” he said. For those of you without access to the oily inner sancta, the playbook’s rules are these:
1 — Understate the amount of oil spilled.Following the guidance of point three, BP has strung miles of bright orange boom everywhere there’s a TV camera. As if booms are some kind of magic wand. Booms are useless unless skimmers pick up the oil they collect and no one has seen any skimmers. Beyond that, the oil from the spill is bubbling up from a mile below the ocean. By the time it gets to the surface, it’s so thoroughly mixed with water it just slips under the booms.
2 — Understate the environmental damage caused by the oil.
3 — Overstate the effectiveness of your company’s response.
4 — Try to buy off the locals with tiny amounts of money (BP is offering $5,000 each to coastal residents in Mississippi) in exchange for waivers promising not to sue for damages.
5 — Slap gag orders on anyone doing business with the corporation. (Fishermen who want work from BP in the cleanup efforts have to agree in writing not to speak to the media. The gag orders are legally meaningless; it’s the intimidation factor that counts.)
Nonetheless, BP had a couple hundred shrimp boats on the gulf Wednesday, trolling booms back and forth. It’s not an oil spill response, it’s Response Theater. As Rick points out, in the best of circumstances (and we’re very far from that in the gulf) only ten percent of the oil is ever recovered. In the Exxon spill, after $2 billion, three summers with 1,000 boats and 13,000 workers, only five to seven percent of the oil was recovered.
One worry here is that the massive spill — which may spew oil for many weeks to come — will slip around the Florida peninsula and be carried up the east coast by the gulf stream. At the Exxon spill, which entailed a heavier grade of crude in the much more closed Prince William Sound, the oil was carried 800 miles down the Alaskan coast. There are several countervailing currents in the gulf, at all depths and of
course, this oil is moving at every depth the gulf has. No one can predict where it will go.
“There’s never been a successful response to a marine oil spill. Ever,” Rick says. “We’re addicted to oil and like any addict, we are taking larger and larger risks to get our fix and the consequences are more and more disastrous.”
So what’s the solution? Break the addiction. We have to stop drilling in the ocean. The results are too catastrophic. Instead of reading from cue cards prepared for him by oil lobbyists, Barack Obama has to shift our government’s energy policy to privilege efficiency and clean renewables over fossil fuels. And Congress must ensure that any legislation aimed at dealing with global warming does not contain any giveaways to dirty fossil fuels, period. Not only will that prevent the next marine tragedy, but it’s our only chance of arresting global warming before we burn our species off the planet.
The Deepwater Horizon accident continues to spill millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Echoing the sentiment of concernced people all across America, Greenpeace activists delivered a strong message to Congress, "Choose a clean energy future now."
The disaster in the Gulf is a tragic reminder of the impacts of America's addiction to dirty and dangerous sources of energy like oil, and it must serve as a wake up call to Congress of the urgent need to immediately stop plans for any new offshore oil drilling.
The oil industry's stranglehold on our energy policy has protected oil company profits while sacrificing our health, local economies, and our environment. It's past time for Congress to shut out the polluter lobbyists and urgently move us toward clean, renewable energy.
How much oil is flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from this disastrous oil spill? Our new counter will keep tabs as the oil continues to flow...
Put this on your site. Grab the code:<iframe src="http://go.greenpeaceusa.org/spill-widget/vertical.php" height="325" width="150" border="0" scrolling="no" style="overflow: hidden; padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px;"></iframe></iframe>
The weather along the Gulf of Mexico finally cleared today, but with the wind backing around to the north and east, the spill remains out to sea.
Retired University of Alaska marine conservation expert Rick Steiner joined us today. He's worked on oil spills around the world, most significantly on the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound Alaska.
Rick says that the fact that this spill emanates from the bottom of the gulf (5,000 feet down), where the water temperature is approximately 1 degree Centigrade (and the oil is hot) means that by the time the oil reaches the surface, it has thoroughly mixed with water and therefore does not appear to be the kind of gruesome slick that is so famous from previous disasters.
It's a PR boon to BP that this is so, because it means that the oil spill remains hidden from public view. It does not, however, mean there is not a tremendous environmental tragedy unfolding. As we speak about this, we need to make that point clear. It's not just about what we can see from shore and that BP has been proactively taking steps to keep the damage hidden.
The dispersant being used at the wellhead – tradename “Corexit,” is nicknamed by Rick “Hidez-it” because the real reason it is used is to keep the damage out of sight. He points out that oil is toxic to wildlife, dispersant is toxic to wildlife, but the toxicity of the two combined is greater than the sum of the parts.
A fisherman we spoke with also noted that if dispersants are used, it saves BP money because they can hire fewer fishing boats – at $1,500 per day each – to skim oil.
As we noted last night, when dispersants are not used, the oil comes ashore and kills birds, when it is not used, it stays in the water column and kills fish, but it's worth noting that killing fish means killing birds eventually because of, y’know, that whole food web thing.
On another BP front, we hear that BP is demanding that fishermen who they hire in the cleanup sign gag orders, agreeing not to talk to the media. Rick says it’s one of the many similarities to the Valdez spill. BP’s reading from the playbook Exxon wrote.
The rules are:
1 – Understate the amount of oil spilled and environmental damage done.
2 – Overstate the effectiveness of the oil company’s response (or more accurately, the oil company’s “response theater”).
3 – Try to buy off the locals for a pittance in exchange for waivers that they will not sue.
4 – Get as many people under a gag order as possible.
We are warning the locals that it took 20 years of court battles to get Exxon to pay damages to the people of Prince William Sound and that the final settlement was only one-tenth of the original award.
Rick said, “Right after Valdez, someone told me, ‘Lawyers still unborn will be litigating this spill’ and I laughed at him. Well, it’s been 21 years and the litigation is still not finished, so he may be right.”
Vast, bald, deforested areas surrounded us, while in the background we could see the wall of surviving forest. Evidence of forest clearing was all around us so we had what we'd come for — but strangely we hadn't caught anyone red-handed. There were no workers in sight.
Our scouting team went ahead to track down the company in the act of destroying the forest while the rest of us stayed behind to bake in the extreme heat. There's not a single tree left, so there was no shade. It was noon on Friday April 23rd and we had found fresh evidence that palm oil supplier Sinar Mas is still in the process of destroying Indonesian rainforests.
Land is ready to begin planting for expansion of palm oil plantations in the concession area of PT Buana Adhitama © Greenpeace / Bina Karos
Today, April 27th, Sinar Mas held its Annual General Meeting in Singapore and we presented the fresh evidence we collected over the weekend at a press conference just before the start of the AGM — but getting this new evidence was not easy.
We set out for Palangkaraya, the capital of Central Kalimantan in Indonesia, on April 23rd to meet other NGO friends, exchange information, and gather more data on what PT Buana Adi Tama (PT BAT for short), a subsidiary of notorious forest and climate destroyer Sinar Mas, has been up to in the area.
See the latest evidence of Sinar Mas' forest destruction on Al Jazeera:
Previously, after hours of pawing through documents, we had discovered that the company was — as we suspected — illegally clearing the forest without a timber cutting permit until 2008. And from what we had seen, we strongly suspected that it was still operating illegally. Sinar Mas has broken its promise to stop this sort of destruction — again. The area the company is clearing also overlaps with orangutan habitat and it has already cleared some areas where orangutans have been frequently spotted. We had to catch them red-handed.
We wasted no time. The following day, we picked up some journalists who wanted to come with us to gather their own evidence and, along with the rest of our team, stepped on it. We were in a remote region and the road was bad. We went off the track several times and it felt as though we were in an international rally, the only difference was that there were no flags and people waving — and that on either side of us lay mile upon mile of degraded forest land and palm oil plantations.
© Greenpeace / Bina Karos
Finally we arrived in Kuala Kuayan, a small village on the Mentaya river bank, our final stop before we headed out to the scene of the destruction.
The next day we were up before dawn and rushed to kickstart the trip. On the way, we picked up our local contact and a local deer hunter, who frequently sees orangutans during his hunting trips near forest areas that PT BAT is destroying. There were now 12 people in our group, including two drivers. We traveled fast through the morning dawn, nervous because we had no idea what awaited us or whether we’d run into unfriendly folks from the company while we gathered our evidence.
Just half an hour from our target site we skidded to a halt. The road had already been bad but ahead it became an impossibly deep, muddy off-road track. We suddenly faced our most difficult situation of the trip. The drivers were not convinced we could get through it. Motorcycles were our best bet — but where could we find motorcycles in the middle of nowhere? But luck was on our side — it was as if God was forbidding us to give up: two local guys appeared from nowhere on motorbikes. When our local contact told them about our destination, they offered to help us in any way they could. Minutes later, one of the journalists and a couple of our team were off up the track to scout conditions on the road ahead. They returned with bad news: there were two big ditch-like paths that we’d have to get past to get to the location. It was too hot to hike so we had no choice but to try and move on.
We were all holding our breath as the first car drove in to the muddy and deep pathway — but it got through. This gave us enough bravery to try the other one. We had to haul it out of the mud with ropes, but we did it. The old saying proved right: if you already have the courage to overcome one big obstacle and you succeed, that success will guide you to beat the others. And with that optimism we overcame the other two obstacles, though we had to pull the cars all the way.
Pulling the cars out.
By noon we had reached the location where the clearing was taking place, but no workers were there. To solve the puzzle, we headed off to the workers' barracks, hoping to find someone brave enough to tell us what was going on. There were only two people there, a worker and someone from a village adjacent to the area the company is destroying. The truth of what was happening rolled out: there was no land clearing today because yesterday some people from the community had attacked the workers as they destroyed the forest.
It appears that the company has spurred a land conflict with the community from the adjacent village. We know of many cases of these kinds of social conflicts, particularly when Sinar Mas is involved, and they often become very violent — the villager did not want us to get him on record saying this.
Again, Lady Luck smiled upon us. A guy appeared who introduced himself as an elder from the village and a victim of the conflict. He was willing to be interviewed. According to him, one guy tricked several of the villagers into giving him their letters of land ownership, which he then gave to the company. He had said they would develop the land into a community rubber plantation, but then a big palm oil plantation appeared instead.
We not only had our evidence but also an insight into how the company is operating in the area. Exhausted, we headed back to base and by midnight were preparing the fresh visual evidence of Sinar Mas breaking its promises to stop this sort of destruction. We want to make sure it cannot get away with telling its lies again.
We knew a lot depended on our investigation and that a lot rested on us getting this evidence out to everyone — we had until morning to get it to Singapore, where our team had arranged a press conference in advance of Sinar Mas’ AGM, as well as out to our Greenpeace offices around the world so that we can show everyone what this company is up to in the rainforest.
Joko on location collecting evidence of new forest clearing by Sinar Mas.
The evidence got to our press conference on time, where international media outlets and journalists were able to see it, but we also wanted to make sure we shared it with you, our online supporters.
We want Nestlé to stop buying palm oil from destructive companies like Sinar Mas. Since we launched our Kit Kat campaign, Nestlé has canceled its direct contract with Sinar Mas but it still buys palm oil from the company via Cargill. Nestlé says it expects Cargill to decide whether it will sever its contracts with Sinar Mas by the end of this month.
We’re not against palm oil plantations but we can’t let companies like Sinar Mas get away with destroying our rainforests. With this evidence, how can Nestlé justify carrying on buying Sinar Mas palm oil unless the company genuinely cleans up its act?
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