U.S. Dept. of Interior has 60 days to review Shell’s blooper reel

by Dan Howells

February 7, 2013

Crewmembers of the mobile drilling unit Kulluk arrive safely at Air Station Kodiak after being airlifted by a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from the vessel 80 miles southwest of Kodiak, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. A total of 18 crewmembers of the mobile drilling unit were airlifted to safety after they suffered issues and setbacks with the tug and tow.

© The United States Coast Guard

Crewmembers of the mobile drilling unit Kulluk evacuated after the rig floated around loose off Alaskan coast

As many of you have read, Shell set out to prove to the world in 2012 with big oil conceit that indeed they were Arctic Ready and could drill successfully for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off the North Coast of Alaska. Well, after literally limping back out of our Northern Pole waters, Shells’ plans crumbled under the rigors of the Arctic.

Both of its main drilling vessels barely made it out of the Arctic Ocean. The Kulluk ran aground on its way back South. The Noble Discoverer needs to be towed back and is under safety and pollution criminal investigations. Shell would have us believe these are “transportation not drilling issues.”

But the it’s the whole drilling program Shell is trying to convince us they can do. Not just bits and pieces. On top of that the other pieces didn’t go so well either. There was that time their drill ship caught on fire. And that other time when the US Government deemed Shell’s barge unsafe. Oh, and one day after beginning its long awaited drilling operations,Shell suspended drillingdue to a massive ice pack covering approximately 360 square miles drifting toward the site.

Catch up here on all the hilarious episodes of Shell’s sitcom you may have missed.<

After what by all accounts was a disastrous year, Department of the Interior Secretary Salazar, the man whowas a cheerleader and all but gave Shell the green light into the Arctic, has decided it is time for another look at Shell’s operations.

Current DOI Secretary Ken Salazar

As the Kulluk sat off the coast of Alaska in dire straits Secretary Salazar announced he was a little less confident in Shell’s operations and he was going to take another look. He announced a “60 day review” of the 2012 debacle. Its not completely clear when the review will be released but its likely around the first week of March.

A review is good idea, but we have to wonder how much more evidence do they need? You might have taken action to save the Arctic before by sending a message to President Obama signing our Save the Arctic scroll (wait-you haven’t? It’s not too late to include your name in the Arctic scroll at the bottom of the ocean!) And it is that public scrutiny (plus a huge assist from the elements of the Arctic) that brings us to this point. A point where we can take a huge step towards our goal of stopping industrialization of the Arctic and mitigating climate change. Secretary Salazar needs to hear from you one more time. Let him know what you think and make sure your friends and family are too. Secretary Salazar, the Arctic is too dangerous and too important to risk drilling.

If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, there would be NO way the Department of Interior would approve Shell’s drilling permits after a season of monumental failure. But just to remind them how ludicrous that decision would be, follow our instructions below to give the DOI headquarters a call and speak your mind on the matter. I’ll certainly be making a call. Join me and thanks for taking one more step to save the Arctic!

1) Call (202) 208-7351. If it’s between the hours of 9am and 5pm EST you should be able to talk to a person. If you aren’t calling between those hours and don’t speak to a person, skip step #2 and simply leave the message below.

2) The phone will be answered by a staff person in Secretary Salazar’s office. Tell them your name, city and state you are calling from, and then tell the staffer you are calling to leave a message with Secretary Salazar about Shell’s permits to drill in the Arctic. You will then be asked if you would like to use the Interior Department’s comment line, politely say no, and say that you would prefer leaving your comment with the staff person you are speaking with so that he/she can give that message to the Secretary directly.

3) Leave your message. Here’s a sample:

“Hi, my name is _________________, I live in [city, state], and I want Secretary Salazar to revoke Shells permits to drill for oil in the Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska”

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