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ktuu.com (Alaska): Government lawyers fight for Shell drilling plan

Associated Press – October 11, 2007 3:04 PM ET

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Shell Oil has found a friend in the federal government.

Government lawyers this week filed papers arguing that the court challenges should be thrown out preventing the Dutch oil company from going forward with its exploratory drilling plan in the Beaufort Sea.

A court in San Francisco has blocked Shell’s exploratory drilling plan in the Beaufort at the request of the North Slope Borough, environmental groups and other organizations.

The groups say regulators failed to adequately consider the potential impacts of industrial noise and spills associated with oil exploration.

The move came after the Minerals Management Service in February approved Shell’s drilling plan, finding the proposed exploration wouldn’t cause significant harm to endangered bowhead whales or the environment.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled the case for a December 4th hearing.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

http://www.ktuu.com/Global/story.asp?S=7200813

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