The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently issued an analysis predicting that Lease Sale 193 in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea—if developed—has a 75 percent chance of a large oil spill. Amazingly, the agency is proceeding with Shell’s plans to drill there.
The U.S. Coast Guard has spoken, and its message is clear: The Kulluk drill rig ran aground in Alaska because Shell recklessly and knowingly towed it into a brutal North Pacific storm, in part to dodge taxes in Alaska.
The Arctic Ocean may be remote and frigid, but it is home to abundant life and a delicate marine ecosystem. Despite the risks posed by offshore oil drilling, the oil industry is bent on gaining access to these fragile waters.
The Wilderness Society has joined a coalition of Alaska Native and conservation groups in a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s decision to allow Shell to begin offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean next summer.