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President Obama Defends Shell Arctic Drilling Decision

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN: Aug 29, 2015 

Critics argue that allowing Shell to explore Arctic for oil goes against the country’s stance on climate change

President Obama has defended his decision to grant approval for drilling in the Arctic region, ahead of his trip to Alaska. Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) had been seeking the US government’s permission to conduct oil exploration in offshore Arctic. Last month, Shell was granted permission to drill a well off the coast of Alaska. The decision has been criticized heavily, as environmentalists have been quick to point out the risks associated with drilling in the Arctic.

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, announced earlier this month, has also come in the line of fire. The plan, which calls for a 32% reduction in carbon emissions from power plants in the US, is aimed at reducing the country’s carbon footprint, as the US tries to lead the charge in the battle against climate change. Critics argue that allowing Shell to explore Arctic for oil goes against the country’s stance on climate change.

As the Arctic approval continues to face criticism from various corridors, President Obama has explained his position on the matter. In a weekly White House address this morning, Mr. Obama acknowledged the climate change concerns.

“I know there are Americans who are concerned about oil companies drilling in environmentally sensitive waters. Some are also concerned with my administration’s decision to approve Shell’s application,” Mr. Obama said, before he pointed out that the leases were purchased before he took office.

“I share people’s concerns about offshore drilling. I remember the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico all too well,” Mr. Obama said. In defense of the approval, Mr. Obama continued: “We made it clear that Shell has to meet our high standards in how they conduct their operations.”

Shell’s Arctic plans have been delayed for several reasons, which Mr. Obama believes is a “testament” to how rigorous the safety standards are.

“The bottom line is, safety has been and will continue to be my administration’s top priority when it comes to oil and gas exploration off America’s precious coasts – even as we push our economy and the world to ultimately transition off of fossil fuels,” Mr. Obama assured concerned Americans.

Ahead of his Alaska visit, Mr. Obama acknowledged the problems faced by the area’s inhabitants, stemming from climate change.

“Alaskans are already living with its (climate change’s) effects,” he said, as fast-melting ice poses environmental risks. Four villages in Alaska are in “imminent danger” as the region faces the effects of climate change.

“It’s our wakeup call. And as long as I’m President, America will lead the world to meet the threat of climate change before it’s too late,” Mr. Obama ended his speech on a reassuring note.

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1 Comment on “President Obama Defends Shell Arctic Drilling Decision”

  1. #1 Denise Gregory
    on Aug 30th, 2015 at 10:51

    DRILLING IN THE ARCTIC SHOULD BE STOPPED. This is the ONLY TRUTH from a Shell spokesperson, & I quote
    ‘We choose to explore there because we have the expertise and experience to operate responsibly and be profitable at the same time.”
    Its not the complete speech, but is THE most relevant, especially the ‘be PROFITABLE’. The rest of it was just garbage about how ‘good’ they THINK they are.
    The arctic is already in trouble due to climate warming & allowing THAT, or any other company to START DRILLING there will only it worse. IT IS A MASSIVE MISTAKE, an OIL SPILL JUST WAITING TO HAPPEN & shell, despite how great they THINK they are, will NOT be able to clean it up. THE spill will have DISASTROUS effects, not just in the Arctic, but everywhere that spill WILL spread to, because THIS company WILL HAVE ONE, its been proven time & time again & they have NEVER been able to contain it, let alone clean it up.
    Drilling in the Arctic is ALL about MONEY & not about energy at all. Shells attempt to smear Greenpeace & anyone else who wants to stop them, is pathetic.

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