BP lawsuit (re Alaska)

Eskimo and reindeerIn October 1999, Greenpeace and six native Alaskan Inupiat Eskimos filed a petition against the development by BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. of the Northstar oil field in the Beaufort Sea, the first offshore oil project in the Alaskan Arctic.  The petitioners sought to challenge the US Secretary of the Interior’s 1999 approval of the Development and Production Plan (DPP) of the Northstar oil and gas development project.  The Inupiats alleged that approval would harm their subsistence lifestyle because it threatened their ability to continue hunting, fishing, and gathering traditional subsistence resources.  The plaintiffs claimed that the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was inadequate; they argued that it failed to sufficiently analyse the impact of the Northstar project on the Inupiats’ lifestyle.  The plaintiffs also claimed that the oil discharge prevention and contingency plan did not comply with the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. 

On 26 September 2001, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, denied the petitioners’ request to review the Department of Interior's approval of the DPP on the basis that the EIS “reasonably documented the environmental effects of Northstar.”  In reviewing the EIS, the standard used by the Court was whether it contained a reasonably thorough discussion of the significant aspects of the environmental consequences that may be caused by the project, including the impact of the project on the Inupiat’s subsistence lifestyle.  The Court of Appeals dismissed the complaint relating to the oil response plan because it did not have jurisdiction over this matter.  Only the US District Court had jurisdiction under the federal Oil Pollution Act to review the spill response plan.

- 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denies challenge to Northstar oil development, Maureen Clark, Associated Press, 27 Sep 2001 
- Greenpeace, Eskimos Sue to Stop BP Amoco Arctic Site, Reuters, 21 Oct 1999
- Case summary: Edwardsen v. United States Department of the Interior, Lewis & Clark Law School’s Environmental Law Online

- BP: Environmental and Social Report 1998 [scroll to page 11]

- Greenpeace: Greenpeace, Inupiat Eskimos launch court challenge against BP Amoco's Arctic oil drilling, 30 Mar 2000
- Greenpeace: Inupiat Eskimos and Greenpeace go to Court to challenge BP Amoco Oil Drilling in the Arctic Ocean, 21 Oct 1999

- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: [PDF] Edwardsen v. US Dept. of the Interior and BP Exploration, 26 Sep 2001

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All components of this story

Article
21 October 1999

Inupiat Eskimos and Greenpeace go to court to challenge BP Amoco oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean

Author: Greenpeace

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Article
30 March 2000

Greenpeace, Inupiat Eskimos Launch Court Challenge Against BP Amoco's Arctic Oil Drilling [update]

Author: Greenpeace USA

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Article
4 April 2003

comments by BP: Northstar and the Native community

Author: BP

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Article
23 July 2006

‘I must learn from what happened at BP America’

Author: Carola Hoyos, Financial Times

...a series of safety, environmental and ethical setbacks at BP’s US operations have tested the validity of Lord Browne’s message that BP puts safety first and profits second. After that blast at Texas City, as well as a large oil spill at Alaska’s pipelines, the near-sinking of BP’s Thunderhorse platform in the Gulf of Mexico and a recent propane trading scandal, investors want to know if the breakdowns are un­connected or if, instead, US operations at the world’s second largest listed energy group are fundamentally flawed. The job of finding the answer has fallen to 54-year-old Mr Malone [who was] Promoted three weeks ago to chairman and president of BP America...

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Article
31 August 2006

Why all companies should address human rights (and how the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre can help)

Author: Christopher Avery, Annabel Short, Gregory Tzeutschler Regaignon - Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

[this chapter appears in the the ICCA Handbook on CSR and Corporate Culture; a list of chapters in the handbook and ordering details can be found at http://www.cca-institute.org/handbook.html] The following sections set out why human rights are relevant to all companies, and why it is important that all companies take human rights seriously. i. International standards require companies to address human rights... ii. Only human rights provide companies with a framework of globally recognised principles... iii. There are increasing expectations for companies to manage human rights issues... iv. There are significant risks for companies that don’t respect human rights... v. Companies benefit from taking a proactive stance on human rights... vi. Human rights are universal standards that go beyond national laws... [refers to ABB, adidas-Salomon, Anglo American, Barclays, BHP Billiton, Body Shop, BP, BT, Cape PLC, Carrefour, Chiquita, Chevron/Texaco, Coca-Cola, Co-operative Financial Services, ExxonMobil, Ford, Gap, Hewlett-Packard, ING, McDonald’s, MTV Networks Europe, National Grid, Nike, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Occidental, Premier Oil, Rio Tinto, Shell, Statoil, Taco Bell (part of YUM!), Talisman Energy, Union Carbide/Dow, Unocal, Wal-Mart]

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Article
29 October 2008

[PDF] Business & Human Rights Resource Centre launches world’s first online portal profiling human rights lawsuits against companies

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Today the non-profit Business & Human Rights Resource Centre launches a free online portal – the first to bring together and demystify lawsuits from across the world alleging human rights abuses by companies. The portal summarises in non-legal language over 35 cases and the positions of each side, with more cases to be added soon. It also presents special commentaries by experts...Companies in profiled lawsuits include: AngloGold Ashanti, Barclays, BHP Billiton, Biwater, Blackwater, BP, Cambior, Cape PLC, Chevron/Texaco, Chiquita, Coca-Cola, Daimler, Deutsche Bank, Dow/Union Carbide, Drummond, DynCorp, ExxonMobil, Firestone, Ford, Freeport-McMoRan, IBM, Mitsubishi, Nike, Occidental, Rio Tinto, Severstal, Shell, Standard Chartered, Talisman, Trafigura, Total, UBS, Wal-Mart, Yahoo!

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Article
1 October 2013

[PDF] Digging deep corporate liability

Author: Lucie Greyl (CDCA) & Godwin Uyi Ojo (ERA/FoEN), for EJOLT

The impacts provoked by the expanding oil industry encompass environmental destruction, health impacts and violations of human rights. The increasing contamination jeopardizes safe conditions of life and destroys means of livelihood of vulnerable communities and of those relying on healthy ecosystems. Local communities, feeling that they are simply sacrificed to the oil industry, see themselves involved in social conflict. They are experiencing forms of environmental discrimination and might even face criminalisation of the protest when they stand up to defend their rights...[T]he number of lawsuits demanding justice for environmental, social, economical and cultural damages provoked by oil companies are increasing as well as their media visibility. Yet most outcomes are not satisfactory in tackling impacted communities claims for justice. This paper describes the most recent trends regarding oil corporations’ responsibilities and use of procedural justice by civil society through the review of emblematic legal cases. [refers to Shell, Texaco, Chevron, BP, Eni, NNPC]

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Article
1 January 2014

[PDF] Between activism and science: grassroots concepts for sustainability coined by Environmental Justice Organizations

Author: Joan Martinez-Alier (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) & others, Journal of Political Ecology

[Résumé aussi en Français / Resumen también en español] EJOs (environmental justice organizations) and their networks have introduced several concepts to political ecology that have also been taken up by academics and policy makers. In this paper, we explain the contexts in which such notions have arisen, providing definitions of a wide array of concepts and slogans related to environmental inequities and sustainability, and explore the connections and relations between them. These concepts include: environmental justice, ecological debt, popular epidemiology, environmental racism, climate justice, environmentalism of the poor, water justice, biopiracy, food sovereignty, "green deserts", "peasant agriculture cools downs the Earth", land grabbing, Ogonization and Yasunization, resource caps, corporate accountability, ecocide, and indigenous territorial rights...[refers to Chevron, Texaco, Keystone (part of Thor Industries), BP, Dole, Umicore, Bechtel, Edison, Abengoa, Vale, Eskom]

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Lawsuit
18 February 2014

BP lawsuit (re Alaska)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In October 1999, Greenpeace and six native Alaskan Inupiat Eskimos filed a petition against the development by BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. of the Northstar oil field in the Beaufort Sea, the first offshore oil project in the Alaskan Arctic.  The petitioners sought to challenge the US Secretary of the Interior’s 1999 approval of the Development and Production Plan (DPP) of the Northstar oil and gas development project.  The Inupiats alleged that approval would harm their subsistence lifestyle because it threatened their ability to continue hunting, fishing, and gathering traditional subsistence resources.  The plaintiffs claimed that the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was inadequate; they argued that it failed to sufficiently analyse the impact of the Northstar project on the Inupiats’ lifestyle.  The plaintiffs also claimed that the oil discharge prevention and contingency plan did not comply with the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. 

 

On 26 September 2001, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, denied the petitioners’ request to review the Department of Interior's approval of the DPP on the basis that the EIS “reasonably documented the environmental effects of Northstar.”  In reviewing the EIS, the standard used by the Court was whether it contained a reasonably thorough discussion of the significant aspects of the environmental consequences that may be caused by the project, including the impact of the project on the Inupiat’s subsistence lifestyle.  The Court of Appeals dismissed the complaint relating to the oil response plan because it did not have jurisdiction over this matter.  Only the US District Court had jurisdiction under the federal Oil Pollution Act to review the spill response plan.

 

- 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denies challenge to Northstar oil development, Maureen Clark, Associated Press, 27 Sep 2001 
- Greenpeace, Eskimos Sue to Stop BP Amoco Arctic Site, Reuters, 21 Oct 1999
- Case summary: Edwardsen v. United States Department of the Interior, Lewis & Clark Law School’s Environmental Law Online

 

- BP: Environmental and Social Report 1998 [scroll to page 11]

- Greenpeace: Greenpeace, Inupiat Eskimos launch court challenge against BP Amoco's Arctic oil drilling, 30 Mar 2000
- Greenpeace: Inupiat Eskimos and Greenpeace go to Court to challenge BP Amoco Oil Drilling in the Arctic Ocean, 21 Oct 1999

 

- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: [PDF] Edwardsen v. US Dept. of the Interior and BP Exploration, 26 Sep 2001