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Clinton Considers Shell Official for Admin. Post

   Friends, your letters are encouraged...
   Frederico Pena
   Secretary of Energy
   Department of Energy
   1000 Independence Ave., S.W.
   Washington, D.C. 20585
   Fax: (202) 586-4403
   Dear Secretary Pena:
   On behalf of our more than one-half million members, the Sierra Club would like 
   to express our alarm regarding the possible selection of Shirley Neff to fill 
   the position of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the 
   Department of Energy.   Ms. Neff currently serves as Senior Washington 
   Representative for Shell Oil's Government Relations Department.  
   The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy position oversees many of 
   DOE's most sensitive environmental programs.  The person holding this position 
   will have direct authority over initiatives involving global warming and 
   renewable energy, as well as oil, natural gas, and international programs. 
   Selecting Shell's chief lobbyist to fill this position, at the very least, 
   would cast a shadow over the Department of Energy's commitment to promoting 
   cleaner forms of energy and sound policies to curb global warming.
   Shell has amassed a record on the environment that is truly horrendous.  Both 
   within the US and internationally, they have opposed efforts to curb toxic 
   emissions, curtail air pollution, and protect sensitive lands.  On the issue 
   of global warming they have joined with other oil corporations in opposing 
   Administration efforts to curb emissions.  Neff, as a senior lobbyist, helped 
   lead Shell's efforts in the United States to block initiatives to curb global 
   warming.  She would have little credibility in promoting such initiatives at 
   the Department of Energy.
   Internationally, Shell has developed a reputation as a menace to the world's 
   environment and a backer of brutal military dictatorships.  In Nigeria, Shell 
   is a key supporter of the military regime of General Sani Abacha.  General 
   Abacha uses his military to suppress dissent and terrorize environmental and 
   community activists who express concern over Shell's environmental degradation. 
    In 1995, Shell refused to use its influence to spare the lives of Ken 
   Saro-Wiwa and eight other environmental activists, whose efforts to call 
   attention to environmental damage in Nigeria's Ogoniland resulted in their 
   executions.  Given that the  Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy 
   has considerable influence over DOE's international activities, a top Shell 
   official would be a particularly unfortunate choice to fill the position.
   We cannot state strongly enough Sierra Club's opposition to the selection of 
   Shirley Neff to fill this position.  Such a choice would undoubtably do severe 
   harm to the reputation of the Department of Energy's environmental programs, 
   and it would raise significant conflict of interest issues.  It is imperative 
   that the candidate selected to fill the position of Principal Deputy Assistant 
   Secretary have strong environmental credentials, which Ms. Neff does not 
   Sierra Club strongly urges that Ms. Neff not be considered for such an 
   important position.
   Carl Pope, Executive Director
   Sierra Club 
   cc:            Kathleen McGinty, Council On Environmental Quality
          David Sandalow, Council On Environmental Quality 
          John Shattuck, State Department
          Todd Stern, White House Climate Change Task Force