Shell is accused of manipulating an independent environmental audit by AEA Technology to determine whether an oil and gas project would receive bank funding, Guardian reports.
Dozens of e-mails secured through the Freedom of Information Act show how Shell officials in London attempted to downplay and edit environmental criticism of the $22 billion Sakhalin II energy scheme. Officials persuaded AEA to disperse its findings throughout the report, rather than leaving them in one appendix. Also downplayed were experts’ concerns over the impacts of continuous noise on endangered whales, and questions about whether permits were sought before or after drilling began.
In addition, the AEA report lists Sakhalin Energy as its client, even though the audit was supposed to be independent.
In August, Shell was reprimanded by UK’s Advertising Standards Authority for violating advertising rules when it claimed that two oil projects in Canada and the U.S. involved sustainable forms energy.