In February 2013, Royal Dutch Shell announced it would not be drilling in the Arctic for the year. The company had made promises of safe drilling in an area deemed unfit for drilling and, as one could predict, chaos ensued. In 2012, Shell’s ships caught fire, ran aground, lost control, and became the subject of a criminal investigation. In 2013, Shell’s ships left the Arctic for repairs and a full year for environmentalists to try and get legislation passed to prevent the company from ever returning. Petitions have been circulating through the Senate and the House, the Obama administration and local legislative offices in an attempt to prevent Shell from causing further damage to the Arctic. It was a year of limited progress of Royal Dutch Shell’s permit for offshore drilling in northern Alaska is approved. Environmental groups oppose Arctic offshore drilling, citing previous mishaps by oil companies who have demonstrated they are not prepared to handle the harsh conditions, nor can they handle the clean-up of a major spill in icy waters filled with endangered species. While the Arctic 30 sit in Russian jail cells, Shell has teamed up with Russia’s Gazprom – one of the world’s most polluting oil companies – to move recklessly into an area other oil companies have deemed unfit and unsafe for drilling. If the permits are approved, and Shell is able to move into the Alaskan region’s Arctic waters, the environmental consequences will be catastrophic.
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