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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 04:39 PM
Original message
US gives Shell green light for offshore oil drilling in the Arctic
Source: The Guardian UK

Conservation groups based in Alaska have accused the Obama administration of repeating the mistakes of George Bush after it gave the conditional go-ahead for Shell to begin drilling offshore for oil and natural gas in the environmentally sensitive Beaufort Sea.

The Minerals Management Service, part of the federal Interior Department, yesterday gave Shell the green light to begin exploratory wells off the north coast of Alaska in an Arctic area that is home to large numbers of endangered bowhead whales and polar bears, as well as walruses, ice seals and other species. The permission would run from July to October next year, though Shell has promised to suspend operations from its drill ship from late August when local Inuit people embark on subsistence hunting.

Environmentalists condemned the decision to allow drilling, saying it would generate industrial levels of noise in the water and pollute both the air and surrounding water. Rebecca Noblin, an Alaskan specialist with the conservation group the Centre for Biological Diversity, said: "We're disappointed to see the Obama administration taking decisions that will threaten the Arctic. It might as well have been the Bush administration."

Whit Sheard, the Alaskan expert with the environmental group Pacific Environment, accused the US Interior Department of "again trying to implement an overly aggressive Bush-era drilling plan in one of the riskiest areas on the planet to drill".

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/oct/20/us-sh...





Drill Baby, Drill!!
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virgogal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Change we can believe in?
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yep, can't help but wonder...
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. What Arctic?
Edited on Tue Oct-20-09 05:15 PM by leveymg
But, that's exactly the point, isn't it?
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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
4. fuck.
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Owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. Isn't Shell a Dutch and British owned company?
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Ruby the Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
6. Unbelievable.
:(
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NecklyTyler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. We need bold action on climate, energy, and a cap on carbon pollution - not producing more
This is knowingly augmenting global warming by making more dangerous fossil fuels available to burn. We need to cut back on CO2 emissions, not just keep pumping more oil into the pipeline to contribute to our problems.

And as an equally important issue is the possibility of a spill in conjunction to damage to the fragile ecosystem. Offshore drilling in the Arctic is madness. Only blind love of money would inspire people to drill there.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
8. For the record, it's 2 wells
A huge mistake just the same. Similar to Russia cheering about the new shipping lanes. We need to remove everyone and everything from the Arctic.
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
9. Dear Mr. President: CBS Evening News: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: 20 Years Later
CBS Evening News: Examining How One Alaska Community Is Coping With Disasters Lingering Economic Consequences
By Byron Pitts

Back in 1989, Exxon executives, including Don Cornett, promised to take care of everyone affected by the spill.
snip---
In total, Exxon spent more than $3.8 billion in clean up costs, fines and compensation. But in 1994, an Anchorage jury found Exxon acted recklessly and awarded victims of the spill $5 billion in punitive damages. An appeals court later cut that award in half.

But after nearly 15 years in appeals, the case finally reached the U.S. Supreme Court last year. The justices reduced that $2.5 billion in punitive damages to just more than $507 million.
snip---
I think that's been Exxon's strategy every step of the way - to wear everybody down, says Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. "They've succeeded in fatiguing those who were entitled to this compensation."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/02/02/eveningnews/m...

Never, ever trust an oil company.

And how about those 5 America hating fascist/corporatists on the Supreme Court, huh? Sheds more light on why the SCOTUS appointed Bu*h to the Presidency in 2000 - to insure that fascists would continue to control the SCOTUS and keep the world safe for Corporatism.

Supreme Court drastically cuts payouts for plaintiffs in Exxon Valdez oil spill

Hopes of fishermen throughout Washington and Alaska were sunk Wednesday when the Supreme Court slashed the amount of punitive damages that Exxon must pay for the epic Exxon Valdez oil spill nearly two decades ago.

The high court, in a 5-3 decision, found that punitive damages could not be larger than the compensatory damages for actual losses from the spill, which totaled $507.5 million.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008018...
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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Nice Reminder +1 nt
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audas Donating Member (114 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
10. Who is Obama to give authority to drill in the Artic ?
Is this ACTUALLY part of Alaska or not ?

Further the company SHELL being a British and Dutch owned entity (its head office mirrors Londons Parliament on the Thames - short boat ride for the pollies to collect their perks) - this should be a very - very clear message that we have reached peak oil - there would be NO NEED to be sucking oil oout of sand and shale - drilling the polar ice caps if it were still flowing like lakes under the middle east - Saudis are Drilling off shore - and you wonder about Iran and still think Afghanistan is about - what was that about - Osama? Peace? Development? Taliban ? (These are now the good guys again - in fact were the bad guys for less than 9 years) Al Qaeda .......no the caspian basin and the resource rich regions of the STANS.

Go America - after 8 years of Bush you got change alright - short changed.
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Owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Why are Dutch and British companies drilling in Alaska?
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Oerdin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
12. I'm for it.
With record unemployment we need jobs and these are some really great paying jobs plus with the proper regulations it can be done with minimal impact on the environment. If Dems don't find a way to get the economy moving and create jobs then they're going to get their butts handed to them in 2010 and 2012 so we need to green light these things and make sure that reasonable steps are taken to minimize the impacts. It can be done.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #12
19. Oh, that's alright then ...
> we need jobs and these are some really great paying jobs ...

Everything is justified if a few people can make a nice profit!

> ... plus with the proper regulations it can be done with minimal impact
> on the environment.

It can. Theoretically. Ideally. In the pages of a glossy project brief.

There were proper regulations in place before the Exxon Valdez crashed.

There were proper regulations in place before the oil "leak" in the Timor Sea
started up (you know, the one that's been pissing crude oil into the sea for
the last eight weeks).

(http://www.theage.com.au/national/fourth-try-to-stem-oi...
for anyone who has skipped that little gem of oil exploration.)

Hell, there were proper regulations in place for Chernobyl too for that matter
but somehow nobody gets away with saying "Fuck it, we need those really great
paying jobs" in that context ...

Greed. Nothing but blatant, stupid, ignorant greed.
:grr:
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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. +1
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Scarsdale Vibe Donating Member (228 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
14. "Conditional go-ahead". Copenhagen treaty will need 67 votes in Senate and Murkowski's a maybe.
Not to mention the Senate version of the climate change bill which will be an uphill battle.

If there wasn't an extensive enough environmental impact review by MMS then the 9th Circuit will knock down this plan, just like it did on plans for other leases in the Artic in November of last year. So, if Shell is lying about environmental impact and MMS is still being delinquent in their overview, the courts can still take action before the exploratory drilling begins in July of 2010.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
15. You know, this place used to erupt in righteous anger when Bush did this sort of thing.
Now, not so much.
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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I know - funny thing is, Bush tried to do this and his father did too but
the courts stopped them. Hoping some environmental group will try to fight this too.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. Yeah ... but we've had a "CHANGE!" now haven't we?
The moral, environmentally-conscious, party for "Change" are in charge now
so we don't do dumb shit like ... oh ... wait ...

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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 12:44 AM
Response to Original message
17. I trust the environmentalists over Shell
It will be a test for the new EPA.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Yeah, but how much money do the environmentalists have? n/t
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