NORTON META TAG

06 February 2014

Fantastic news -- Shell retreats in the Arctic 5FEB14

ACTIVISM has it's rewards, like sharing the news of victories after months, at times years of struggle. This from the NRDC & EarthJustice....

TWO VICTORIES FOR THE ARCTIC!
Polar bears
Fantastic news: Shell has announced that it will NOT attempt to drill in the Arctic Ocean this summer.
The oil giant’s stunning reversal came after a momentous court ruling two weeks ago. The federal court agreed with NRDC and our allies that the Bush Administration had wildly underestimated the risks of spills and other hazards when it opened the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea to oil leasing and exploration in 2008.
Simply put: the entire Arctic leasing program was based on a fiction -- as we have long claimed -- and all the leases, including Shell’s, have now been thrown into limbo.
The court victory and Shell’s retreat are huge steps forward in our campaign to close Alaska’s Polar Bear Seas -- the Beaufort and Chukchi -- to oil development and potential catastrophe.
And we have you to thank! You have stood with us every step of the way, lending your generous financial support to a tough battle against two administrations and Big Oil that has raged in and out of the courtroom for five years. We never gave up because we know just how much is at stake.
The Beaufort and Chukchi Seas are home to more than half of America’s polar bears. Their populations are already reeling from global warming. The last thing they need is a catastrophic oil spill.
And if Shell’s Arctic venture has proven anything, it’s that this remote and rugged region is no place for drilling. In 2012, Shell’s rig had to flee from a 30-mile-long iceberg. Its emergency response equipment was “crushed like a beer can” during tests. And its drill rig ran aground during relatively routine winter weather.
Other oil giants -- including ConocoPhilips and Statoil, the Norwegian multinational oil company -- have long since canceled or suspended their plans. Shell was the last holdout -- until this latest announcement.
But make no mistake: While Shell has called off this summer’s operations, it is far from ruling out another attempt.
That’s why it’s so crucially important for the Obama Administration to slam the door shut on Arctic drilling by putting it completely off-limits to Big Oil.
This latest federal court decision hands President Obama a golden opportunity to move beyond a failed Bush Administration policy and to safeguard the Arctic for the sake of our spectacular natural heritage and our embattled climate.
You can be sure that NRDC will be tirelessly advocating for the President and his Interior Secretary to do exactly that. I know you will stand with us.
Thank you again for helping to make this historic victory possible.
Sincerely,
Frances
Frances Beinecke
President
Natural Resources Defense Council

P.S. In the weeks and months ahead we will be building on the momentum of this victory and strongly advocating that the Obama Administration put the Polar Bear Seas totally off-limits. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift that will help us take the fight to Big Oil and win a ban on drilling in the Polar Bear Seas.
Donations to this campaign will be used to Keep Shell Out of the Arctic and protect our environment in the most effective way possible.


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Earthjustice - Because the Earth needs a good lawyer.
The CEO of Shell announced today that the oil company will forgo its plan to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean this year. After disastrous year attempting to drill in the Arctic Ocean for Shell in 2012—followed by civil and criminal investigations, huge fines and overall unpreparedness for the harsh Arctic weather and elements—a court ruling on our case last week confirmed what we all have known: Shell is not ready to drill in the Arctic Ocean.
A mother polar bear and cub jumping across ice floe. (Florida Stock / Shutterstock)
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Shell’s decision today means America’s Arctic waters are safe from big oil for another summer. The Department of the Interior now needs to take a hard look at whether the Chukchi Sea should be open for oil drilling at all, beginning with a full and public environmental impact statement process that addresses the Ninth Circuit decision and does not minimize the risks of oil drilling in this vibrant but vulnerable sea.
We want to extend our sincere appreciation to the hundreds of thousands of you whose donations and advocacy backed up our efforts in court. Together, we have done what many thought was impossible.
Thank you for being there with us,
Erik Grafe picture
Erik Grafe
Staff Attorney
Alaska Office
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 Photo Credit:   A mother polar bear and cub jumping across ice floe. (Florida Stock / Shutterstock)
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