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Shell Oil president reports progress in Arctic offshore drilling off Alaska’s

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25The Arctic ecosystem is already weakened because the ice is melting, yet Shell is willing to risk an oil spill there that they wouldn’t be able to clean up.

By Mo Ahmad – September 4, 2015

Alaska’s fiscal crisis seemed unimaginable only a few years ago when oil fields in the North Slope brought in revenue that allowed the state to forego sales and income taxes while issuing yearly checks to every resident and banking billions for rainy days. “Now we’re coming out of that and it looks like we’re moving into a time period of good weather”.

However, Obama will speak on Monday in Alaska about the necessity to take urgent and aggressive action against climate change, during a three-day trip to raise awareness on the effects of global warming. The Arctic ecosystem is already weakened because the ice is melting, yet Shell is willing to risk an oil spill there that they wouldn’t be able to clean up.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the Chukchi and Beaufort seas hold 26 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

A Shell spokeswoman said later on: “Shell respects the right of people to protest against the activities we undertake to ensure the world’s energy needs are met. However, it is disappointing that Greenpeace continually chooses to focus on mounting publicity stunts rather than engage constructively in the debate about how to meet the world’s growing demand for energy while reducing Carbon dioxide emissions”.

Shell proposes to drill up to six wells within the Burger Prospect, located about 70 miles northwest of the village of Wainwright, Alaska.

Marvin Odum told The Associated Press safety will be the overriding determinant of whether Shell completes exploratory wells this year in the Chukchi (chuk-CHEE’) Sea.

Shell is operating under strict Arctic rules put in place after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Speakers said now is the time pursue solutions, such as canceling Shell’s Arctic drilling program.

I grew up in the jungles of Venezuela, child of a Dutch engineer who worked for Royal Dutch Shell. When asked if all operations around the walrus by Shell are within the guidelines set by Interior Department regulation, MacCracken said, “Yes”.

“We can’t afford to have a problem here”, Odum said.

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