Have some Greenies,like Bill McKibben and his friends from Wall Street been trying to tell you that Barack Obama is serious about climate change?
Actions speak louder than words
Barack Obama gives Shell go-ahead to drill for oil in Alaskan Arctic
Anglo-Dutch oil giant to return to the Chukchi Sea in search for oil despite concerns for the environment
31 March, 2015
Royal Dutch Shell has received the go-ahead from the US government to restart a controversial oil exploration campaign in the Alaskan Arctic despite fears over the risk to the environment.
The Department of the Interior approved the Anglo-Dutch oil major’s request to return to the Chukchi Sea within the Arctic circle. It comes just three years after Shell’s last attempt to find oil in the region floundered when its Kulluk drilling rig ran aground.
"The Arctic is an important component of the Administration's national energy strategy, and we remain committed to taking a thoughtful and balanced approach to oil and gas leasing and exploration offshore Alaska," said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
“This unique, sensitive and often challenging environment requires effective oversight to ensure all activities are conducted safely and responsibly.”
Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will now consider Shell's exploration plan and perform an environmental assessment on it, which could take at least 30 days.
Shell said in a statement on Tuesday night: “Today’s Record of Decision reaffirms Lease Sale 193 and clears the way for the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management to conclude its review and make a decision on our Revised Chukchi Sea Exploration Plan. The execution of that plan remains contingent on achieving the necessary permits, legal certainty and our own determination that we are prepared to explore safely and responsibly.”
The company spent $5bn (£3bn) in its last failed search for oil in Alaska but the company believes that the region’s vast untapped reserves warrant the potential financial and environmental risks of returning.
Despite the slump in oil prices to levels around $50 per barrel, operators are prepared to continuing searching for crude in the Arctic. According to estimates by energy consultants Wood Mackenzie, the region, straddling territory belonging to Russia, the US, Norway, Greenland and Canada, may hold as much as 166bn barrels of oil equivalent.
Shell’s plan for the Chukchi may involve using two rigs to reach production of around 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude, roughly half the UK’s current output of oil from the North Sea. Tapping oil and gas reserves held under the Arctic will be vital to meeting expected global energy demand beyond 2040.
According to the International Energy Agency, total energy demand will increase by 37pc over the next 25 years and without new reserves the world could face a catastrophic shortfall in oil and gas.
However, the decision by President Barack Obama’s administration to sanction Shell’s plans in Alaska has drawn immediate criticism from environmental lobby groups.
“It’s an indefensible decision,” said Greenpeace Arctic campaigner Ian Duff. “The Arctic is melting rapidly because of climate change. But instead of seeing it as a warning, Shell sees profit. It wants to drill for more of the stuff that caused the melting in the first place. And all the evidence shows Shell can’t drill safely in the Arctic. The extreme conditions means it’s when, not if, a spill will happen.”
Drilling in the Arctic is complicated by ice, which in some areas can last for around six months. The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has said there is a 75pc chance of “one or more large spills” happening.
The decision to permit Shell back into Alaska could also trigger a rush by other nations to tap their Arctic resources.
Canada is watching Shell’s plans closely. Imperial Oil wants to drill on the Canadian side of the Beaufort Sea by the end of the decade. In Russia, state-run Rosneft and Gazprom have a monopoly to explore the country’s vast Arctic continental shelf, but work has been slowed by Western sanctions aimed at forcing the Kremlin to back down over its support of separatists in Ukraine
The Guardian mentioned it the other day but without mentioning Obama’s name. Doesn’t really fit their current narrative.
Liberals like George Monbiot are still delivering exactly the same messsage as they were 20 years ago when I first discovered him.
This is from 3 weeks ago