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 could open a warming Arctic to an unprecedented level of oil drilling, adding, “This is a disaster waiting to happen.” Meanwhile, the United Nations issued a report that criticized Shell and the Nigerian government for contributing to 50 years of oil pollution in the Niger delta.
The UN said that reversing damage there would be the world’s largest oil clean-up, costing at least $1 billion and taking up to 30 years.
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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.
Watch the video.
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.