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Appeal to Bill and Melinda Gates — as shareholders of Ecolab — to help stop use and manufacture of toxic dispersants for oil spill response

During a recent “cast” interview for the documentary A Concerned Citizen, now screening through the Global Peace Film Festival until Oct.ober 4, festival organizers Nina and Kelly asked what film viewers could do to support the work highlighted in the film. 

With ALERT’s lawsuit to update our nation’s emergency response plan mired in the politics of a presidential election campaign, I decided it was a perfect time to launch a petition to call out Bill and Melinda Gates to help us stop the manufacture of deadly Corexit dispersants and safely destroy existing stocks.

This is not a normal divestment campaign. The Gates are the largest individual shareholders of Ecolab––which sounds like a ‘do good’ company but turns out to be the parent company of Nalco, the company that manufactures Corexit dispersants. The vast majority of owners of the friendly-sounding Ecolab are oil-chemical companies, some of same companies that use dispersants in oil spill response for the kind of cosmetic superficial clean that makes the media lose interest, 

So, we don’t want Bill and Melinda Gates to divest—we want them to use their clout to “grow the good”, as Rosemary Athuangaruak, an Indigenous grandmother and plaintiff in ALERT’s lawsuit, calls it. We want the Gates to use their political clout and leadership skills to work with us to convince the institutional investors of Corexit dispersants to stop manufacturing these products and to negotiate with the federal government to safely destroy existing stockpiles. 

Sign on to support our petition and grow the goodness––the leadership to take us all to the next generation of oil spill response beyond toxic chemicals.

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