Royal Dutch Shell's new CEO Ben van Beurden scrapped its 2014 plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean, a beautiful home to polar bears, walruses and the bowhead whale. The extreme risk for oil spills and further climate destruction in an already fragile ecosystem provides overwhelming evidence that Shell should pull out of the Arctic completely.
Shell's past failures include:
- having its oil spill containment dome “crushed like a beer can” during testing in relatively calm waters off the Washington coast, according to a Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement official
- having its drilling rig the Noble Discoverer slip an anchor (and at another point in time catch fire)
- ending the 2012-2013 drilling season by losing control of its other drilling rig, the Kulluk, which ran aground off the coast of Alaska's Kodiak Island
Tell Mr. van Beurden to back out of the Arctic Ocean for good.
America’s Arctic is no place to risk an oil spill. Little is known about the potential consequences of drilling there, but we do know that it is especially risky and dangerous in light of the Arctic’s icy and unpredictable weather conditions.
I am glad that one of your first major decisions as Shell’s CEO was to scrap drilling plans for the Arctic Ocean in 2014. After Shell’s long list of mishaps during the 2012-2013 drilling season, which ended with your drilling rig, the Kulluk, running aground off the coast of Alaska’s Kodiak Island, I applaud your leadership in curtailing drilling for 2014. However, I urge Shell to walk away from risky and dangerous drilling in this ecologically sensitive region permanently.
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