Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

President Obama Gives Shell Final Approval to Drill in the Arctic

Energy
President Obama Gives Shell Final Approval to Drill in the Arctic

Yesterday, President Obama said climate change puts Alaska at the "front lines of one of the greatest challenges we face this century," and yet today he approved Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Alaskan Arctic. The President cannot have it both ways. Announcing a tour of Alaska to highlight climate change the day before giving Shell the final approval to drill in the Arctic ocean is deeply hypocritical.

This approval means the Obama administration is leaving the fate of the Arctic up to Shell this summer. But that doesn’t mean the future of the Arctic has to be in Shell’s hands.

While President Obama has made some progress during his term on reducing emissions through measures like the recent Clean Power Plan, his environmental legacy will be determined by the steps that he takes to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

The Obama administration should know better than to bend over backwards to approve such a reckless plan. The President has seen how big the movement to save the Arctic and to keep fossil fuels in the ground has become, and it’s only going to get bigger if he doesn’t put a stop to this catastrophic plan.

Shell applied for the permit once its damaged icebreaker, the MSV Fennica, was close to the drill site off the North Slope of Alaska. The Obama administration required the Fennica, which carries the capping stack, to be on-site and fully repaired before Shell is allowed to drill into oil-bearing zones. The Fennica was repaired at a dry dock in Portland after the vessel was damaged near Dutch Harbor. Last month, Greenpeace activists on the St. John’s Bridge blocked the Fennica as it was leaving Portland.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

40 Hour Standoff Ends in Call to Obama to Cancel Shell’s Arctic Drilling Plans

Arctic Oil Drilling Is a Climate Disaster, Says New Report

Shell Dumps ALEC as Oil Giant Prepares to Drill in Arctic

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less

Trending

In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A field of sunflowers near the Mehrum coal-fired power station, wind turbines and high-voltage lines in the Peine district of Germany on Aug. 3, 2020. Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch