In reckless move, Obama administration grants Arctic drilling permits to Shell

Media Contacts
Rachel Richardson

Environment America

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of the Interior today granted conditional permits for Royal Dutch Shell PLC to begin drilling off the coast of Alaska in the Chukchi Sea. For the time being, the company is only permitted to drill the top sections of its wells because it lacks the equipment to cap the wells in case of emergency. Rachel Richardson, the director of Environment America’s Stop Drilling program, issued the following statement:
 
“We’ve seen time and again, most recently just last week: when you drill, you spill. And when you spill in the Arctic Ocean, the consequences are all but irrevocable. The area is simply too fragile and too remote to ever fully recover from a catastrophic spill, and polar bears, beluga whales, and other wildlife unique to this precious area will pay the price.
 
“Allowing Shell, with its horrible track record of accidents and disregard for the rules, to drill even on a limited basis without the equipment on site to contain a spill is truly reckless.

“Today’s action is a huge setback for climate action and the health of the Arctic. But in the long term, with the support of the public, we can protect our oceans from drilling and transition toward a 100 percent clean energy future.”

staff | TPIN

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