05 Aug '11, 3pm

U.S. conditionally approves Shell's oil drilling plans in Arctic Ocean off Alaska

05 Aug 2011: U.S. Conditionally Approves Shell’s Oil Drilling Plans in Arctic Ocean U.S. government regulators have conditionally approved Shell Exploration’s plans to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska. Drilling could begin as early as next July. The decision is a setback for various environmental groups and indigenous people, who are concerned that drilling activity and the potential for oil spills in the icy region could threaten a highly sensitive ecosystem that is home to whales, seals, walruses, polar bears, and migratory seabirds. Shell and Alaska’s U.S. senators praised the decision, which brings Shell a big step closer to drilling after years of legal battles. Shell must still clear some regulatory hurdles, including developing an oil spill response plan. Holly Harris, attorney for the environmental group Earthjustice, said the decision coul...

Full article: http://e360.yale.edu/digest/us_conditionally_approves_she...

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