Court Delivers Blow to Alaskan Arctic Oil Prospectors
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling against the Department of Interior and oil companies including Shell in favor of environmental and Alaska Native groups and concluded the federal government failed to properly evaluate the scale of oil production that could result from offshore lease sales in 2008, reports Anchorage Daily News.
According to groups cited by Anchorage Daily News that oppose drilling in the Arctic (including the Alaska Wilderness League, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, National Audubon Society, Oceana, the Native Village of Point Hope and the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope) the ruling represents a a victory for the Arctic Ocean.
They considered that the government has no business offering oil companies leases in the Chukchi Sea as the area is home to iconic species such as polar bear, bowhead whales and walrus and to a vibrant indigenous subsistence culture.
Source: Anchorage Daily News