The Blog Aquatic » oil http://blog.oceanconservancy.org News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:32:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 New Report Will Promote Integrated Arctic Management http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/07/30/new-report-will-promote-integrated-arctic-management/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/07/30/new-report-will-promote-integrated-arctic-management/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:03:53 +0000 Andrew Hartsig http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=8881

Photo: Jay DeFehr

With a new University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) report, we finally have a comprehensive view of oil, gas, and commercial transportation development in Arctic Alaska.

In a report to the President issued last year, a federal interagency working group called for a new, integrated approach to stewardship and development decisions in the U.S. Arctic. This new approach—called “Integrated Arctic Management”—is intended to integrate and balance “environmental, economic, and cultural needs and objectives” in the region.

Effective application of Integrated Arctic Management demands not only an understanding of Arctic ecosystems, but an understanding of the impacts of industrial development in the region. Until now, information on industrial development in the U.S. Arctic has been available only in piecemeal fashion, scattered throughout a range of documents and publications. This has made it difficult to understand how planned and proposed development activities will intersect with existing industrial operations to affect the region as a whole.

Fortunately, the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) recently released a report that addresses this information gap. The new report, entitled “A Synthesis of Existing, Planned, and Proposed Infrastructure and Operations Supporting Oil and Gas Activities and Commercial Transportation in Arctic Alaska,” takes a holistic view of industrial infrastructure and operations on Alaska’s North Slope. While the report is an independent publication of UAF, Ocean Conservancy provided support for the project and the underlying research and analysis.

The report compiles information about oil and gas activities and commercial transportation in the U.S. Arctic from a range of sources, including environmental analyses, planning documents, and industry materials. The report considers wells, roads, pipelines, and facilities that already exist in Arctic Alaska. It also looks at planned and proposed industrial infrastructure that may be built and operated in coming years, such as offshore energy development that could result from Shell’s oil and gas leases in the Chukchi Sea. To help readers visualize the scope and scale of development operations, the report includes a variety of maps depicting different portions of the Arctic and the region as a whole. By assembling this information in one place, the synthesis gives stakeholders and decision-makers a valuable reference for the region that has been previously unavailable.

There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding increased energy development in Arctic Alaska, but the report makes clear that if planned and proposed projects go forward, they could result in a significant expansion of industrial infrastructure and operations in the region, both onshore and offshore. This could include the construction of hundreds of new structures, thousands of new wells, and thousands of miles of new pipelines and roads. The new industrial development would greatly expand the industrial “footprint” in Arctic Alaska.

The report does not take a position on this potential expansion of industrial development in the U.S. Arctic. It does, however, give decision-makers and stakeholders ready access to information that can help them better understand how proposed industrial development activities may combine in ways that could have profound impacts on Arctic ecosystems and people. In doing so, it can facilitate integrated, long-term decision-making that will minimize and mitigate negative impacts associated with development. This will provide a strong foundation from which to explore alternative visions for Arctic conservation and development—something that Ocean Conservancy plans to pursue in the coming year.

]]>
http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/07/30/new-report-will-promote-integrated-arctic-management/feed/ 0
Preserving Wildlife and Preventing Shipwrecks in the Aleutian Islands http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/05/06/preserving-wildlife-and-preventing-shipwrecks-in-the-aleutian-islands/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/05/06/preserving-wildlife-and-preventing-shipwrecks-in-the-aleutian-islands/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 21:17:41 +0000 Whit Sheard http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=8195

Photo: Alaska Dept of Environmental Conservation Spill Prevention and Response

Forming the southern boundary of the Bering Sea, the Aleutian Islands archipelago stretches for more than 1,000 miles. This windswept and remote region is home to a rich diversity of fish species, birds that migrate from all seven continents, and marine mammals ranging from endangered Steller sea lions to humpback whales. Although this unique ecological area has been designated a National Maritime Wildlife Refuge and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, it continues to face the impacts of oil spills and other pollution from the global shipping industry. As shipping along the Aleutian Island segment of the ‘Great Circle Route’ connecting North America and Asian markets has increased, so too has the number of catastrophic accidents and near-misses involving some of the largest vessels in the world.

On December 6, 2004, the cargo vessel Selendang Ayu, which was carrying 66,000 tons of soybeans from Seattle, Washington to Xiamen, China, experienced engine problems. The 738 foot long ship was shut down and allowed to drift while repairs were made. The ship drifted along the Aleutian chain, but the captain did not call the U.S. Coast Guard immediately. When the crew was unable to start the engine the following morning, the weather had worsened and the Selendang Ayu was dead in the water—and taking the full force of 35 mph winds and 15 foot waves.  By the time the Coast Guard was alerted and rescue vessels arrived on the scene, winds were exceeding 60 mph, with waves reaching 25 feet.  Despite the efforts of rescue crews, the extreme weather conditions forced the grounding of the Selendang Ayu near Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Tragically, several of the ship’s crew members were killed when a helicopter crashed while attempting to rescue them. The ship eventually broke in half, spilling more than 300,000 gallons of heavy bunker fuel, which is more toxic to the environment than crude oil.

The death of crew members, a large oil spill, and the resulting impacts to wildlife, including thousands of dead birds, are horrific.  It gets even worse though: this tragedy could have been avoided. These sailing conditions are not extraordinary and with thousands of vessels transiting the Aleutian Islands every year, the dangers are well known. Due to the remoteness of the region, however, U.S. prevention and response regulations that apply to other areas in the country have not been enforced. In the wake of this tragic incident and several near-misses since then, however, several important lessons have come to light. First, we need vessels to operate with a higher standard of care. It was later discovered that the M/V Selendang Ayu parent company had criminally neglected maintenance of the ship’s engines. Second, increased efforts must be made towards prevention, including increased vessel tracking and reporting. If the captain or a third party monitoring the vessel had reported the situation to the Coast Guard immediately, the response would have been quicker. Third, although some might argue that full compliance with U.S. and State of Alaska regulations may be cost prohibitive, simply waiving those provisions is irresponsible. We must do more and avoid another tragedy like the Selendang Ayu.

Photo: Whit Sheard, Pacific Environment, and Alaska Center for the Environment

With prodding from the conservation community, part of the settlement funds from a criminal plea agreement with the owner of the Selendang Ayu went to funding a multi-year quantitative risk assessment to overhaul every aspect of shipping through the Aleutian Islands. Ocean Conservancy currently sits as the primary conservation representative on the Advisory Panel and we have been working with the State of Alaska, the Coast Guard, the shipping industry, federal wildlife managers, fishermen, and others to bring forward a comprehensive package of measures to make sure that the Aleutian Island region is protected.

We have also focused on practical measures that can be implemented immediately. Some of these measures include better coordination of emergency tugs transiting the region, increased tracking and monitoring of vessels, an emergency towing system based in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and a system that routes vessels away from shore and through the least dangerous passes along the archipelago.

At the conclusion of the risk assessment we will finalize our consensus recommendations and turn our attention to implementation and funding of the more detailed recommendations, which will include obtaining protections through the International Maritime Organization, increasing spill response equipment in the region, and requiring state of the art tugboats that can prevent future tragedies like the Selendang Ayu and preserve wildlife and livelihoods in the Aleutian Islands.

]]>
http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/05/06/preserving-wildlife-and-preventing-shipwrecks-in-the-aleutian-islands/feed/ 2
Oil and Ice Still Don’t Mix in the Arctic http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/04/30/oil-and-ice-still-dont-mix-in-the-arctic/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/04/30/oil-and-ice-still-dont-mix-in-the-arctic/#comments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 15:05:36 +0000 Andrew Hartsig http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=8144

On April 23, the National Research Council (NRC) released a new report that reviews state of science and technology with respect to spill response and environmental assessment in the U.S. Arctic Ocean. Ocean Conservancy provided recommendations and comments to the NRC as it conducted its research last year.

Now that the NRC has published its final report, we are pleased to see that it confirms what we’ve known all along: there are major barriers to effective oil spill response in Arctic waters. These include lack of information, lack of infrastructure, and lack of preparedness to deal with adverse environmental conditions.

Knowledge gaps: baselines, data on physical and biological status, and understanding of the fate and behavior of oil under sea ice conditions are all inadequate.

The NRC report correctly notes that effective spill response and recovery requires a “fundamental understanding of the dynamic Arctic region.” Unfortunately, current knowledge of the Arctic marine environment is plagued by significant gaps. For example, the NRC found that existing data in the Arctic “do not provide reliable baselines to assess current environmental or ecosystem states” and cannot fully anticipate future impacts. It also determined that “[p]opulation sizes and trends for most U.S. Arctic marine mammals are poorly known,” and “shoreline and hydrographic data are mostly obsolete, with limited tide, current, and water level data and very little ability to get accurate positioning and elevation.” Other shortcomings? Spill trajectory models “have not been calibrated for the full range of environmental factors encountered in the Arctic” and “reliable oil spill trajectory models for oil fate and behavior under sea ice conditions have not been established.”

Infrastructure: equipment and services needed to support response teams are insufficient.

In addition to these knowledge gaps, the NRC report found that the Arctic’s lack of infrastructure “would be a significant liability in the event of a large oil spill.” Responders would be confronted with “a severe shortage” of basic services including “housing, fresh water, food and catering, sewage handling and garbage removal facilities, communications infrastructure, ability to handle heavy equipment, supplies, and hospitals and medical support.” Despite the U.S. Coast Guard’s best efforts, the NRC report concluded that “personnel, equipment, transportation, communication, navigation and safety resources needed for oil spill response are not adequate for overseeing oil spill response in the Arctic.” In short, spill response personnel would likely be unable to react quickly to an oil spill without “improved port and air access, stronger supply chains, and increased capacity to handle equipment, supplies, and personnel.”

Arctic environment: challenging environmental conditions in the Arctic create increased risk for responders.

Environmental conditions in the Arctic present another serious problem for oil spill response. The NRC report recognized that “Arctic conditions impose many challenges for oil spill response—low temperatures and extended periods of darkness in the winter; oil that is encapsulated under ice or trapped in ridges and leads; oil spreading due to sea ice drift and surface currents; reduced effectiveness of conventional containment and recovery systems in measurable ice concentrations; and issues of life and safety of responders.”

While the NRC report is dense and detailed, its overall message is simple: “[m]arine activities in U.S. Arctic waters are increasing without a commensurate increase in the logistics and infrastructure needed to conduct these activities safely.”

Fortunately, the NRC report contains a series of important recommendations designed to remedy some of the shortcomings that the report identified. Implementing those recommendations will take commitment, time and resources. But four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and 25 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, those are recommendations we should not ignore.

]]>
http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/04/30/oil-and-ice-still-dont-mix-in-the-arctic/feed/ 2
Coast Guard Report Shows Shell Failed to Recognize Risk in the Arctic http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/04/04/coast-guard-report-shows-shell-failed-to-recognize-risk-in-the-arctic/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/04/04/coast-guard-report-shows-shell-failed-to-recognize-risk-in-the-arctic/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 19:46:47 +0000 Andrew Hartsig http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=8002

Photo: Coast Guard

This past Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard released a report on its investigation into the grounding of Shell’s Arctic drilling rig Kulluk near Kodiak, Alaska on December 31, 2012. A tug lost control of the Kulluk in heavy weather on the way to Seattle after Shell’s failed attempt to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean in 2012.

The Coast Guard report provides a detailed account of the events before the Kulluk ran aground and identifies a number of causal factors, including lack of experience in Alaska waters, failure to recognize risks, use of inadequate equipment, insufficient planning and preparedness and major problems with the primary towing vessel.

Were there other factors at play? Shell was in a hurry to get its oil rig out of Alaska waters before the end of the year to avoid the possibility a paying taxes to the State of Alaska if the rig remained in Alaska on January 1. The Coast Guard report also found evidence to suggest that Shell’s contractors may have failed to comply with certain legal or regulatory standards and may have committed acts of negligence.

According to the Coast Guard report, Shell’s contractors knew that conditions would be challenging. In an email, the tug’s master wrote: “To be blunt I believe that this length of tow, at this time of year, in this location, with our current routing guarantees an ass kicking.”

Despite these concerns, the towing operation continued. Trouble started when the Kulluk’s towline gave way on December 27. As the situation grew more dangerous, the Coast Guard rescued the 18-member crew of the Kulluk. Although Shell and the Coast Guard made multiple attempts to regain control of the Kulluk, they were ultimately unsuccessful. Late in the day on December 31, the drilling rig ran aground on Sitkalidak Island near Kodiak, Alaska. Fortunately, salvage crews were able to pluck the Kulluk off the shore on January 6 and tow it to a safe harbor. Thankfully, there was no loss of life or major injuries, and the environmental damage was relatively minimal.

How did this happen? Why was one of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies unable to carry out a routine towing operation safely? The Coast Guard’s investigation cites a number of causal factors, including:

Lack of experience in Alaska waters: Shell’s contractors lacked experience in the Gulf of Alaska waters, especially in the wintertime. This inexperience manifested as an inability to reduce stress on the towline in an effective manner.

Failure to recognize risk: Shell and its contractors “did not recognize the overall risks involved prior to commencement of the tow,” and did not conduct a formal risk assessment.

Inadequate equipment: Shell and its contractors selected and used towing equipment that was not sufficient for the rough conditions that they encountered.

Insufficient planning and preparedness: Shell’s towing plans “were not adequate for the winter towing operation across the Gulf of Alaska,” and were “not adequately reviewed,” and “lacked proper contingency planning.”

Problems with the primary towing vessel: Shell relied on the Aiviq—a purpose-built tug—as its primary towing vessel. But, according to the Coast Guard report, the Aiviq was plagued by design flaws and suffered from preexisting engine problems.

As I’ve written before, we need to make meaningful changes in the way that government agencies plan for and manage oil and gas operations in the Arctic. Fortunately, we’re starting to see some progress on that front.

Unfortunately, there’s bad news, too: the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is considering selling another round of oil and gas leases in the Chukchi Sea—a move in exactly the wrong direction, especially after a court recently found fault with the agency’s analysis of its last lease sale. Join me in telling the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to call a halt to this potential Chukchi Sea lease sale. Please sign our petition today

]]>
http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/04/04/coast-guard-report-shows-shell-failed-to-recognize-risk-in-the-arctic/feed/ 13
A Rocky End to 2012 for Shell’s Arctic Drillships http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/01/03/a-rocky-end-to-2012-for-shells-arctic-drillships/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/01/03/a-rocky-end-to-2012-for-shells-arctic-drillships/#comments Thu, 03 Jan 2013 15:42:39 +0000 Andrew Hartsig http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=4085
Last year ended badly for the two drill rigs used by Shell Oil for its Arctic operations. A Coast Guard inspection in late November revealed significant problems with safety and pollution prevention equipment aboard the drillship Noble Discoverer. More recently—and more dramatically—a powerful storm in the North Pacific drove Shell’s drilling unit Kulluk aground off the coast of Sitkalidak Island near Kodiak, Alaska. Fortunately, the Coast Guard evacuated the Kulluk’s crew before the drilling unit grounded and so far, there are have been no serious injuries. The operation to salvage the Kulluk is ongoing, and we hope that all responders and salvors stay safe.

The Kulluk’s problems began on Thursday, December 27 when heavy seas snapped the towline between the Kulluk and Shell’s tug, the Aiviq. Crews managed to reestablish the towline connecting the vessels, but the Aiviq then experienced total engine failure, leaving both tug and tow adrift in rough seas and high winds. Shell sent additional vessels to the scene to assist, and the Coast Guard responded with two cutters and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters. At Shell’s request, the Coast Guard evacuated the 18-person crew of the Kulluk on December 29. Coast Guard helicopters delivered engine parts and technicians to the Aiviq that enabled repair of the tug’s engines but—despite repeated efforts over the course of several days—neither the Aiviq nor any of the other response vessels were able to tow the Kulluk to safety.

At approximately 9pm local time on December 31, the Kulluk ran aground on the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island. Photographs and video from the scene show waves pounding the grounded drilling unit. According to Shell, the Kulluk is carrying up to 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel, together with approximately 12,000 gallons of lube oil and hydraulic fluid. As of this writing, the hull is stable and upright, and so far there are no signs of contaminants in the water. Nevertheless, responders are staging spill response equipment to the area in the event of a spill. On January 2, an assessment team boarded the Kulluk to evaluate options for freeing the rig. But until the rig is off the rocks, we can only hope that the vessel remains intact and more serious environmental damage is avoided.

The dramatic grounding and salvage of the Kulluk overshadowed the earlier news that Shell’s other Arctic drillship—the Noble Discoverer—had significant problems of its own. The LA Times and Alaska Dispatch recently reported that the Discoverer had to be towed into port in Seward, Alaska after the drillship developed propulsion problems in November. While in port in Seward, a Coast Guard inspection revealed serious issues with safety and pollution prevention equipment. The problems were so severe that the Discoverer failed to meet federal and international requirements. The U.S. Coast Guard cited the Discoverer for the deficiencies and ordered the ship to remain in port until it was brought back into compliance with regulations. The ship’s owner, the Noble Corporation, acknowledged the problems in a press release and admitted that the Discoverer may have discharged pollutants without proper authorization. Noble claims that it corrected the most serious problems and the Coast Guard has lifted its detention order. As of this writing the Discoverer is still in Seward. According to news reports, a tug will tow the Discoverer to Seattle where the drillship will undergo additional repairs.

The grounding of the Kulluk and safety and pollution prevention problems on the Noble Discoverer come on the heels of a long string of other mishaps from last summer’s drilling operations—including the near-grounding of the Discoverer near Dutch Harbor last July and a failed test of Shell’s oil spill containment system that left Shell’s equipment “crushed like a beer can.” Shell’s track record of failure in 2012 raises serious questions about whether the company is capable of carrying out safe operations in Alaska’s challenging environments.

]]>
http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/01/03/a-rocky-end-to-2012-for-shells-arctic-drillships/feed/ 5
Hurricane Isaac Churns Up Reminder of BP’s Damage to the Gulf of Mexico http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/09/05/hurricane-isaac-churns-up-reminder-of-bps-damage-to-the-gulf-of-mexico/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/09/05/hurricane-isaac-churns-up-reminder-of-bps-damage-to-the-gulf-of-mexico/#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2012 21:22:30 +0000 Bethany Kraft http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=2829

Tar balls photographed by Louisiana state response teams on Elmer’s Island in Jefferson Parish on September 1, 2012. Credit: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Last week was a long one for Gulf Coast residents as we watched Hurricane Isaac waffle about where to land before settling on coastal Louisiana, causing massive flooding from storm surge in Mississippi and Louisiana and bringing businesses and communities to a grinding halt for over a week.

As if we didn’t have enough to deal with, what with hurricanes and flooding and power outages and devastation for too many people, we also had the pleasure of remembering (in case any of us had forgotten) that we are still in the grips of responding to and recovering from the BP oil disaster.

Far from magically disappearing, oil has persisted in the marine environment for over two years now, and the force of Hurricane Isaac has churned up an ugly reminder of how much work we still have to do to restore the Gulf ecosystem. Tarballs and mats are showing up from Louisiana to Alabama, even forcing the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to issue a closure for commercial fishing in the area of a large oil mat off Elmer’s Island.

Officials are working to assess the extent of oiling after the storm, and are not surprised to see oiled shorelines corresponding to areas that experienced significant oiling during the summer and fall of 2010 and beyond.

“I’d say there is a smoking gun,” Garrett Graves, the coastal adviser to Louisiana’s governor Bobby Jindal, told news organizations in this article from the Guardian. “It’s an area that experienced heavy oiling during the spill.’”

In the midst of the re-oiling of miles of shoreline and the stark reminder that our marine environment is ground zero for oil persisting in the environment, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently responded to what it calls “plainly misleading representations in BP’s papers concerning liability and Natural Resource Damage (“NRD”) issues” in a motion BP filed on August 13 asking the court to approve a private settlement regarding economic and property damage.

The DOJ states that BP’s motion for the private settlement “overreaches in seeking to establish either that it acted without gross negligence and willful misconduct or that the environment has recovered without harm from the discharge of millions of barrels of oil.”(Page 4 of DOJ brief.)

The filing gives an overview of DOJ’s case for gross negligence and willful misconduct, and provides evidence that the environment is still suffering lasting damage and degradation as a result of BP’s actions, disputing BP’s assertion that many aspects of the Gulf are recovering, stating that while “it is true that many resources are in a better condition than at the height of the Spill — after all, they are no longer slathered in layers of BP’s oil— it is also true they continue to suffer significant harm from the Spill, and it is not possible at this time to conclude that they have recovered, despite the information that BP presents.” (DOJ brief at 27.)

There is much work to do, but together we can take on any challenges we face. Tomorrow I will write about how Ocean Conservancy is thinking about restoration in the marine environment.

]]>
http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/09/05/hurricane-isaac-churns-up-reminder-of-bps-damage-to-the-gulf-of-mexico/feed/ 4
Don’t Let Shell Drill in the Arctic Based on Shortcuts and Excuses http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/07/21/dont-let-shell-drill-in-the-arctic-based-on-shortcuts-and-excuses/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/07/21/dont-let-shell-drill-in-the-arctic-based-on-shortcuts-and-excuses/#comments Sat, 21 Jul 2012 13:36:40 +0000 Andrew Hartsig http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=1846

Reckless Arctic drilling isn’t worth the risk. Photo courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service.

In its quest to drill exploratory oil wells in the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska, oil giant Royal Dutch Shell made a lot of promises to government regulators about its ability to run a safe and clean drilling operation in the challenging Arctic environment. But as the drilling season approaches, Shell is already experiencing setbacks and backtracking on its commitments.

In the face of these broken promises, stand with us against Shell’s reckless plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

First, Shell is changing its story about its capacity to clean up spilled oil in the Arctic. Portions of Shell’s Arctic oil spill response plans are based the unrealistic assumption that Shell would be able to clean up 90 percent of the oil released in a worst case spill. Actual recovery rates—even in optimum conditions—rarely exceed 20 percent. When confronted with questions about its spill plan, Shell back-pedaled, claiming that it didn’t mean that it would actually be able to clean up 90 percent of the spilled oil, only that it would be able to “encounter” 90 percent of the spilled oil.

Second, Shell is having problems obtaining Coast Guard certification for one of its oil spill response vessels. Because of the harsh conditions of the Arctic, the Coast Guard requires Shell’s vessel to withstand the conditions and forces generated by a severe storm that might happen once every 100 years. Shell’s vessel failed to meet that stringent standard. In the face of this setback, Shell suggested a shortcut: it asked the Coast Guard to use a less rigorous certification standard.

Third, Shell recently admitted that it won’t be able to meet the air emissions standards established in Clean Air Act permits granted by the EPA. Instead of addressing the issue at an earlier stage, Shell waited and hoped for the best. When tests showed that emissions from Shell’s drillship and oil spill response vessel would exceed the air pollution limits set by the permits, Shell once again tried for an easy way out, requesting that EPA grant a waiver to allow the vessels to emit more pollutants.

And then there’s the incident in Dutch Harbor… This past Saturday, Shell’s 500 foot drillship—the Noble Discoverer—dragged anchor and nearly ran aground (or did in fact run aground, depending on who you ask) near Dutch Harbor in Alaska. Photos show the Discoverer very close to the shoreline. Fortunately, tugs were able to pull the drillship back to deeper waters. If Shell was not able to control its drillship in the relatively protected waters of Unalaska Bay, how will it fare in the more challenging environment of the Chukchi Sea?

Stand with us to tell the government it can’t accept Shell’s excuses and shortcuts, and it shouldn’t allow Shell to drill in the Arctic Ocean this summer.

]]>
http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/07/21/dont-let-shell-drill-in-the-arctic-based-on-shortcuts-and-excuses/feed/ 8