In today’s WHYWHYWHY news: The White House just gave Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic oil-drilling plans a go-ahead — with conditions. The New York Times explains:
The Obama administration gave conditional approval on Monday to allow Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. to start drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean this summer.
The approval is a major victory for Shell and the rest of the petroleum industry, which has sought for years to drill in the remote waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, which are believed to hold vast reserves of oil and gas.
“We have taken a thoughtful approach to carefully considering potential exploration in the Chukchi Sea, recognizing the significant environmental, social and ecological resources in the region and establishing high standards for the protection of this critical ecosystem, our Arctic communities, and the subsistence needs and cultural traditions of Alaska Natives,” Abigail Ross Hopper, director of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said in a statement. …
The Interior Department’s approval of the drilling was conditional on Shell’s receiving approval of a series of remaining drilling permits for the project.
Though the feds have caved, Seattle city officials are still trying to gum up Shell’s Arctic operations. The oil giant wants to use the city’s port as a hub for its drilling efforts to the north, and many Seattleites, including the mayor and some city council members, are saying no way. Port officials have already approved Shell’s plans to base equipment in Seattle, but Mayor Ed Murray announced last week that the port must reapply for a new city land-use permit. So there’s that small line of defense, but Seattle can’t stop Shell all on its own.
Has the Interior Department never heard of Shell’s last spectacular oil-drilling fuck-up in the Chukchi Sea? Does it know a Shell oil rig already failed a Coast Guard inspection even before starting its trek up to the Arctic?? Is it aware that all of the Arctic’s oil reserves must stay in the ground to prevent potential climate disaster???
Oh. It is? … And it’s still giving Shell’s plan two thumbs up?