Shell decision grants Arctic temporary reprieve
Additional protections needed for fragile Arctic waters
- Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, is reported today to have announced that the oil giant has abandoned plans for exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea in 2011.
- Despite the lack of infrastructure and cleanup technology that make oil spill response in the Arctic unfeasible, Shell intends to resume drilling plans for the Beaufort Sea in 2012.
- Defenders urges the Obama administration to carefully scrutinize Shell’s proposal, rather than rubber-stamp drilling operations. Such scrutiny is not only warranted by the risk of the undertaking, but is required by law.
The following is a statement by Richard Charter, senior policy advisor for marine programs at Defenders of Wildlife:
“High risk offshore drilling in America's Arctic Ocean cannot be considered a responsible course until we learn to clean up the inevitable oil spills in the region's prevailing darkness, severe storms and broken sea ice, and until we have a Coast Guard presence closer than a thousand miles away.
“In the lingering aftermath of the BP Gulf spill catastrophe, and a similar shallow-water rig blowout in Australia, we simply cannot afford to invite an even worse disaster in the Arctic Ocean.”
Contact(s):Richard Charter, (707) 875-2345
Caitlin Leutwiler, (202) 772-3226, firstname.lastname@example.org