Coast Guard Report on Shell Debacle Underscores Danger of Arctic Drilling

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

eff Benzak, jbenzak@nrdc.org, 202-513-6248; or Elizabeth Heyd, eheyd@nrdc.org, 202-289-2424

Coast Guard Report on Shell Debacle Underscores Danger of Arctic Drilling

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Coast Guard’s long-awaited report on the 2012 grounding of Shell Oil’s Kulluk drill rig near Kodiak Island, Alaska underscores the serious threats posed by drilling in the Arctic Ocean, the Natural Resources Defense Council said. The 152-page report said Shell’s reckless and failed attempt to tow its Arctic Ocean drill rig was riddled with deficient planning and poor decision-making and potentially violated the law.

The following is a statement by Chuck Clusen, director of National Parks and Alaska Projects at NRDC:

“The incident makes vividly clear the near-impossible task of coping with an oil spill in the Arctic’s harsh weather conditions -- and the likelihood of serious threats to human life and the environment. Nobody has any business trying to drill in the Arctic Ocean -- period. America doesn’t need to endanger one of our remaining wild, untamed places. And we cannot afford to worsen climate change by going to extremes in search of dirty fuels—especially when we already have safer, cleaner ways to power our economy. This report reminds us to appreciate that some places are too special to drill.”

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The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

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