Shell's Arctic drilling program running aground

Media release - July 15, 2012
Bering Sea, Alaska

In response to media reports that Shell's drill rig Noble Discoverer ran aground and became stuck near Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Greenpeace Lead Arctic Campaigner Jackie Dragon said:

"She
ll can't keep it's drill rig under control in a protected harbor, so what will happen when it faces 20 foot swells and sea ice while drilling in the Arctic? Shell's whole drilling program seems to be running aground; the company has admitted its drill rig can't meet the standards required to avoid polluting Arctic air, and broken promises about its oil spill response plan and Arctic storm preparedness. Shell cannot be trusted, and President Obama should not let its Arctic drilling program move forward."

Shell admitted this week that the Noble Discoverer cannot meet the standards required under its Clean Air Act permit, and the Environmental Protection Agency has made promises that any proposed revisions to the air permit will require public notice and comment.

Shell also recently stated that it can merely “encounter” 95 percent of spilled oil, not clean it up, even though its oil spill response plan relies on the company’s ability to clean up 95 percent of spilled oil at the source. Shell admitted that its oil spill response barge Arctic Challenger cannot meet the Coast Guard's required safety standards to withstand Arctic storms.

Jackie Dragon is on board the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, which is headed to the Chukchi Sea with research submarines and other equipment to study the marine habitats where Shell hopes to drill this summer.

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Contact: Joe Smyth, on board the Greenpeace ship Esperanza in the Bering Sea