Shell is going to drill in the Arctic

Shell, oil, Arctic, risk, climate change, oil damage

The US administration has given conditional approval for Shell Oil to drill in a remote and dangerous part of Alaska.

The government of the United States has just been approved the drilling of oil giant Shell in the pristine Arctic.

Shell will bring the climate and beautiful wildlife in the ocean in great danger.

Activists say president Obama made it look like decision to allow Shell to resume drilling operations ‘is not in his hands’ despite executive actions in other areas.

Too risky

Experts explain apparent that drilling in the Arctic is incredibly dangerous and too risky for our fragile environment. The nearest Coast Guard base is more than 1,500 kilometers away. If something goes wrong, and Shell itself admits that this is possible, there is literally no one who can do something about it.

One of the government’s own reports that the likelihood of a spill in the next 77 years was as high as 75%.

Profit above all

It is inconceivable that Shell Oil will win in the Arctic. Scientists claim that this oil is absolutely not associated with the occurrence of a runaway beaten global warming. Profit for Shell or a secure environment for all of us – it should be an easy choice.

Only 140 feet deep

Notably, the proposed exploration is in very shallow waters — only 140 feet deep — and thus it will not present the kinds of challenges that the Deepwater Horizon spill posed.

The US Arctic Ocean presents almost a perfect storm of risks:

  • a requirement for a long-term capital-intensive investment for uncertain return
  • a remote and uniquely challenging operating environment
  • ongoing court challenges
  • a lack of extraction and spill response infrastructure
  • and the spotlight of the world’s environmental organisations, the US political community and international media

Who at senior management level is overseeing potential legal threats to Shell’s Arctic plans?

Read this report: Frozen Future: Shell’s ongoing gamble in the US Arctic 2

Exxcon Valdez oil disaster 1989

One of the worst environmental disasters, Exxon Valdez released over 10.8 million gallons of oil before Alaska, contaminating 1,300 miles of the coastline and killing thousands of birds, eagles, otters and other native animals. Despite over a billion dollars being spent on cleanup, the region still hasn’t fully recovered, even a quarter of a century later.

It happened before

If we judged the worst oil spills in history only by gallons leaked, the Exxon Valdez disaster — which occurred 26 years ago today — would not make the list.

However, adding in environmental impacts and clean-up efforts, it’s still recognized as one of most damaging spills to date.

In 2009, Exxon Mobil Corp. was ordered to pay about $500 million in interest on punitive damages for the oil spill off Alaska, nearly doubling the payout to Alaska Natives, fishermen, business owners and others harmed by the 1989 disaster.


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