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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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
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.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. 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.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.