29 Mar 2012:
Shell’s Spill Response Plan
For the Beaufort Sea Is Approved by U.S.
The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved Shell Oil’s plan to respond to an oil spill in the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea
, clearing the way for exploratory drilling this summer. The decision follows similar U.S.
government approval for a spill response plan in the Chukchi Sea, and Shell said that separate exploratory drilling ships will begin working in the two seas off Alaska when ice melts this summer. Shell’s response plan calls for the exploratory vessels to be accompanied by more than a dozen ships that will carry oil-soaking skimmers and booms, as well as a capping stack that could be lowered into the ocean to control a blowout. The Interior Department estimates that 26.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 130 trillion feet of natural gas lie under the continental shelf off Alaska. But environmental groups criticized the Interior Department for approving Shell’s spill response plans, saying there is no viable way to clean up an oil spill in the extreme, icy conditions of the Arctic Ocean. “The Obama administration once again decides to let Shell play Russian roulette with the Arctic ecosystem,” said Brendan Cummings, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity.
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A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.