Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

President Obama Gives Shell Final Approval to Drill in the Arctic

Energy

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

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Examples (from left) of a lead pipe, a corroded steel pipe and a lead pipe treated with protective orthophosphate. U.S. EPA Region 5

Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.

Read More Show Less
ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

By Dave Cooke

So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Richard Connor

A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.

Read More Show Less
Ian Sane / Flickr

Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control showed a larger number of young people coming down with COVID-19 than first expected, with patients under the age of 45 comprising more than a third of all cases, and one in five of those patients requiring hospitalization. That also tends to be the group most likely to use e-cigarettes.

Read More Show Less
A woman scoops water in a dry riverbed near Kataboi village in remote Turkana in northern Kenya. Marisol Grandon / Department for International Development

By Raya A. Al-Masri

Different strategies for resisting the spread of the new coronavirus have emerged in different countries. But the one that has cut through everywhere is simple and, supposedly, can be done by anyone: "Wash your hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds."

Read More Show Less