10 January 2013
Here's how unprepared Shell is to drill in the Arctic:
Even four months after it ceased drilling operations, Shell still managed to nearly cause a major oil spill, when its Kulluk drilling rig — filled with 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel and lubricant — ran aground 11 days ago, after the boats towing it lost control of the rig.
Following this incident, yesterday the Obama administration launched an urgent review of Shell's plans and preparedness to drill in the Arctic.1
Incredibly, Shell was only moving the Kulluk south to Washington to dodge $6 million in Alaska state taxes. But its grounding should be the last straw after a year of Shell drilling debacles that proved what has always been obvious: drilling in the Arctic is a disaster waiting to happen.
This wasn't even the first time Shell lost control of its drilling vessels in the rough Arctic waters last year. Additionally, the company had multiple problems with sea ice, and its oil spill containment dome system failed its first test spectacularly when it "breached like a whale" and was "crushed like a beer can." Shell couldn't even meet the agreements it made with the Obama administration, pulling major bait and switches on its oil spill response plan, EPA air pollution rules, and repeatedly failing to meet Coast Guard requirements for its oil spill containment barge. 2
We've been told that Shell is the best and most prepared oil company to drill in the Arctic. As Shell has bumbled and stumbled along, it's become painfully clear that even the best in the business is hopelessly outmatched by the Arctic.
It would be stunningly irresponsible to allow Shell's thirst for oil to lead to an inevitable disaster in one of the most pristine places on earth. And with NOAA just announcing that 2012 was the hottest year on record,3 it would be stunningly irresponsible to continue drilling for climate-heating fossil fuels, in ever more dangerous and destructive ways.
Sign the Petition
This review is a second chance for the Obama administration to do what it should have done last year, and say "Shell No!" to Arctic drilling. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:
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