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(photo: NASA/Kathryn Hansen)

Pre-Emptive Strike: Shell Sues Environmental Groups

Common Dreams staff

Royal Dutch Shell has launched a pre-emptive strike against environmental groups by filing a lawsuit against groups likely to challenge the company's plan to drill in the Chuckchi Sea in the Arctic, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.

The lawsuit, the Los Angeles Time reports, is Shell's way of beating the environmental groups to court, thereby avoiding delays in its drilling plans.

The Times reports that the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife, the National Audubon Society and other groups that have challenged Arctic drilling are named in the lawsuit.

* * *

Earlier this week, seven Greenpeace activists were arrested and charged with burglary after occupying a Shell Oil drilling vessel for four straight days.

Greenpeace New Zealand's Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid wrote of the action:

This has been a fitting first chapter for what will undoubtedly be an epic battle. The battle to save one of the most beautiful, unique and iconic places on earth from the seemingly insatiable greed of the oil industry. A battle to save the world from climate change - the greatest threat we face today.

Throughout this time Shell has tried to say they want to talk, to explain how they can drill safely in the frozen Arctic, and that there's nothing to worry about. But both common sense and scientific consensus tells us there is no way to safely drill up therein the frozen North. A spill in the icey Arctic seas would be impossible to clean up.


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