Environmentalists Sue Over Shell Plan to Drill in Arctic

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 2, 2015

Several environmental groups sued the United States on Tuesday to derail Royal Dutch Shell PLC's plan to drill in the Arctic Ocean as soon as July.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior, gave conditional approval in May to Shell's resumption of fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic, which was paused after a mishap-filled 2012 season.
The decision was met with approval by some Alaska lawmakers, who believe it will bring money and jobs to the state, as well as protests from environmentalists.
The Sierra Club and nine other groups sought to overturn the government's decision in a petition with the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday.
According to the petition, the plaintiffs are conservation and Alaska Native groups, the members of which "use and enjoy the affected area for recreational, aesthetic, or scientific purposes or whose members depend on the ecosystems and wildlife of the Arctic for subsistence, cultural, and traditional uses."
Shell representatives could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of the Interior declined to comment.
The Arctic is estimated to contain about 20 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and natural gas, but its recovery could be decades away.
Environmental groups contend that weather conditions make it impossible to safely drill in the Arctic, a region that helps regulate the global climate because of its vast layers of sea ice.
In approving Shell's plan, U.S. agencies said the company would still have to obtain additional permits and biological opinions to protect resources, wildlife and workers.
(Reporting by Dan Levine)
Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Apr 2019 - Navies of the World

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News