No truer words were said than US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar when he bluntly pointed out on Thursday that Shell "screwed up in 2012" during its chaotic attempt to drill for Arctic oil.

In a damning assessment of Shell's embarrassingly inept operations in Alaska, Salazar said the company will not be allowed to return without a comprehensive overhaul of its plans to avoid the same kind of mishaps that plagued its 2012 operations.

An Obama government review found that Shell, a massive company with profits in excess of $26 billion last year, was not prepared for the extreme conditions in the Arctic. Shell's ill-preparedness resulted in a series of accidents and the New Year's Eve grounding of its drill rig the Kulluk.

Shell drill rig Kulluk

The review was harshly critical of Shell management and said the company had failed to plan for the short drilling season in the Arctic and the region's extreme weather conditions. Its equipment, in particular, did not stand up to the harsh environment.

Clearly, despite its promises, Shell is not Arctic ready, and the US government should be embarrassed for granting Shell the operating permits that it did, but President Obama now has solid evidence to justify a ban.

Even Shell announced a "pause" in its Arctic drilling last month and any oil company reckless enough to believe it can operate safely in the fragile Arctic ocean should stop and learn from Shell's mistakes.

Like the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, an accident in the unforgiving Arctic could result in devastating consequences for a fragile, pristine region. Rather than tap the oil that is leading to the Arctic ice melt, it's time to turn back from the frontier.

Shell clearly can't be trusted there.