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All Headline News: Green Activists Put Shell Explorations On Hold In Alaska

November 6, 2007 6:14 p.m. EST 
Paul Icamina – AHN News Writer

San Francisco, CA (AHN) – Industrial noise and oil spills could disturb or harm endangered bowhead whales, polar bears, fish and birds that sustain the Inupiat subsistence culture in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea.

These were the arguments put forward by native whale hunters, environmentalists and the North Slope Borough when they sued successfully to stop Shell’s exploratory efforts in Camden Bay this summer, saying they fear the risks to wildlife and the environment.

The U.S. Minerals Management Service estimates the Sivulliq drill site, about 16 miles offshore, contains 100 million to 200 million barrels of oil.

“Our biggest concern and the major thrust of this lawsuit is that the federal government is not doing its job as stewards of our public resources,” said Whit Sheard from the San Francisco environmental group Pacific Environment, a party to the lawsuit.

Marvin Odum, a vice president with Shell, said the federal court decision that prohibited the Dutch oil company from exploratory drilling in the Beaufort Sea this summer was a temporary setback.

Shell plans to go ahead with “pioneering” seismic research technology this winter when the area is iced over. Critics are concerned that underwater noise created by seismic testing will affect whale migratory patterns.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, the parties will return to court in December.

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7009074992

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