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Shell sues Greenpeace to stop Arctic drilling protests

Published: September 22, 2012 | 6:53 am
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AMSTERDAM — Royal Dutch Shell PLC is taking Greenpeace International to court in an attempt to have the environmental organization banned from holding any protest within 500 meters (1,640 feet) of any Shell property, or face a$1.3 million fine.
The suit at Amsterdam’s District Court Friday shows Shell aggressively taking the offensive to protect its $4.5 billion investment in drilling for oil in the icy Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska. Shell is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, while Greenpeace International is based in Amsterdam.
The oil company said in a statement several of Greenpeace’s recent actions have “have gone well beyond the limits of acceptable protest.”
“Shell continues to respect the legitimate right of people to peacefully protest against the activities we undertake to ensure the world’s energy needs are met,” the statement said.
Greenpeace called the move a “legal sledgehammer to stifle public discourse.”
Greenpeace activists have been involved in two attempts to thwart Shell-owned ships from traveling to the Arctic. In May, a U.S. court ordered the organization to remain at least a kilometer (around half a mile) away from any of Shell’s ships bound for Alaska, within 200 miles of shore in U.S. waters.

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