Polar bear protests against arctic drilling
Tue, 17 Jul 2012 2:04p.m.
Greenpeace activists shut down a Shell petrol station in London on Monday to protest against the company's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.
An animatronic polar bear with fake icebergs on the roof of the Shell station was Greenpeace's way of bringing the Arctic to Shell.
"Shell are going to be the first big oil company this summer to start drilling for oil in the Arctic," said Sara Ayech from Greenpeace. "The Arctic is a unique and beautiful area of the planet. And to drill for oil there would endanger the wildlife, the habitat of polar bears and narwals and other creatures - as well as the four million people who live there."
Shell has received federal approvals for planned exploration drilling in Arctic waters off Alaska.
The company plans to drill two wells this year in the Beaufort at a prospect about 32km offshore, and three in the Chukchi about 113km offshore. Drilling must take place during the brief ice-free season, since federal approvals for the plans require that Shell cease all operations for the year by October 31.
Environmental groups say those icy regions are too vulnerable to allow drilling to proceed.
Shell spent more than $2 billion between 2005 and 2008 acquiring leases in federal waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi. The company says it has now spent about $4.5 billion on its offshore Alaska program.
Up to now, drilling had been stymied by negative court rulings, regulatory changes made after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the revocation of a key air-quality permit.
But Shell's exploration plans now have nearly all of the required government approvals and the general support of the Obama administration.
Environmentalists and some Alaska Natives adamantly oppose the drilling plans.
3 News / Reuters
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18/07/2012 10:03:07 a.m.
A fraction of the $4.5 billion that Shell has spent on its Arctic drilling program would go a very long way in developing the clean energy solutions of the future. Come on Shell - wake up and smell the fresh (and profitable) air of the Clean Tech future.
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