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Shell Immunized against Drilling-Transmitted Diseases

Posted by feww on April 13, 2010

Shell Granted Key Alaska Drilling License

Oil giant Shell receives federal air-quality license for Alaska Beaufort Sea drilling

EPA has granted Royal Dutch Shell Plc a federal air-quality permit that allows the giant oil company to carry out exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea.


A week after U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline declared that “the balance of hardships” is in favor of the BP and Shell, “who have invested significant time [never mind nature’s 4.55 billion year investment] and expense in preparing for the scheduled activities,” and dismissed lawsuit against exploration permits granted by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the MMS, two environmental groups filed a lawsuit on July 8,2008 against new federal regulations that grants permission to oil companies to disturb/destroy the polar bears and walrus in the Chukchi Sea. [Image: NOAA]

The permit, more like a vaccine for “Drilling-Transmitted Diseases,”  immunizes Shell against any and all of the air pollutants emitted from their drill vessel and dozens of  support ships that the company will be employing to drill two exploratory wells about 26 to 35km (16 to 22 miles)  off  Alaska’s northern coast.

“The Beaufort Sea permit—which Shell has been seeking for nearly four years—was granted a week after the EPA issued a similar permit for the company’s planned drilling operations this year in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwestern cost.” A report said.

The terms of permit stipulates that Shell shall  use “technological advances,” “ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel” and practice “other protective measures,” EPA officials were quoted as saying. [Wear a condom on their drill bits?]

“This permit ensures that exploration and drilling will occur in a way that protects air quality,” Rick Albright, director of the air, waste and toxics issues for EPA’s Seattle regional office, said in a statement.

The conditions of permit, of course,  pays lip service to environmental protection; they won’t and can’t prevent accidental oil spills, which have now become daily occurrences throughout the planet.

“The Beaufort permit is an important milestone, a Shell spokesman in Anchorage said, after the company spent $84 million on its Beaufort Sea leases and intends to drill prospects there called Sivulliq and Torpedo that are known to contain hydrocarbons.” The report stressed.

“The issuance of our final Beaufort Sea air permit means we can continue to advance our exploration program with the ultimate goal of drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in 2010,” Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

The permit is reportedly issued subject to a public-review period and could be appealed by environmental concerns.

“Shell is seeking to use a single drill ship and a fleet of icebreakers, oil-spill-response ships and other support vessels to explore the Chukchi and Beaufort prospects. Drilling is planned for the summer and fall, times when sea ice is absent. The company plans to drill up to three wells about 75 miles offshore in the Chukchi, where it spent $2.1 billion in 2008 to acquire leases, and two wells in the Beaufort.” The report said

“Environmentalists and the native Inupiat Eskimo people of the region expressed concerns, as the permit was being drafted by the EPA, about carbon-dioxide emissions into a region already strongly affected by climate change, and the potential impact of pollutants on people who hunt and fish in the region for traditional foods.” The report added.

Although Shell requires other permits before  it can proceed with the vile acts of drilling at either of the two sites, those permits are considered to be much easier to obtain than the air-quality permits, that the company has been granted.

The Riddle of Big Oil and Energy Consumption:

  1. Humans prosper at a much lower rate of energy consumption.
  2. The ecosystems, what is left of them, function well  in the absence of fossil fuel pollution (pollution created by mining/drilling, transport and consumption of the fuels).
  3. More mining and drilling creates more pollution.
  4. The only prosperity associated with selling more fossil fuels is the sellers monetary gains.
  5. The big oil companies are owned by a tiny fraction of the world population.
  6. Why do the overwhelming majority of world population allow a tiny minority destroy the planet for monetary gains?

Can YOU can solve this riddle??

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2 Responses to “Shell Immunized against Drilling-Transmitted Diseases”

  1. […] Shell Immunized against Drilling-Transmitted Diseases […]

  2. feww said

    Arctic oil drilling threatens Norway government
    (Reuters) – A classic battle pitting the oil industry against environmentalists and fishermen in Norway’s Arctic seas is set to intensify on Thursday when the most thorough environmental study of the project to date is released.

    Extracting oil from the chilly waters off the Lofoten and Vesteraalen islands is so divisive it could wreck the ruling Labour Party’s coalition in this Nordic state that is the world’s fifth largest oil and third largest gas exporter but also sees itself as a leader in environmental policies.

    “If I were to point to one conflict that could spell the end of the present government, it would be this issue,” said Frank Aarebrot, professor of comparative politics at the University of Bergen.

    The Labour Party, led by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, has kept the door open for drilling and has in the past been a supporter of the oil industry. But Labour’s coalition partners, the Socialist Left and the Center party, are against.

    The report commissioned by the environment ministry will assess conditions in the seas off the Arctic islands and assess the potential risks posed by oil and gas activities.

    The area off Lofoten could hold some 20 percent of all remaining undiscovered reserves on the Norwegian continental shelf, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), at a time when petroleum production is on the decline.

    Oil production in Norway peaked in 2001.

    “In the long run Norway cannot afford not to investigate what is out there,” Oystein Michelsen, Statoil’s head of exploration and production in Norway, said.

    “It’s important for the country, there is a lot of value there. We should benefit from it,” he told Reuters.

    Not everyone is welcoming a potential oil boom in the region, however.

    The seas off the islands are home to the spawning grounds of the world’s largest cod stock and fishermen and environmentalists fear oil activities could endanger them.

    “If any marine areas in Europe should be protected against the risk of oil exploration, these are the first candidates,” said Rasmus Hansson, Secretary General of the World Wildlife Fund in Norway.

    “They are the most productive and most valuable marine areas in Europe, no doubt about it,” he told Reuters.

    Thursday’s report will be followed Friday with NPD’s own report evaluating how much oil and gas could potentially be found in the areas, the result of seismic surveys it conducted.

    The government is expected to make a decision on the issue by the end of 2010.

    Aarebrot anticipated that Labour would be willing to break up the governing coalition on the issue as it could continue governing in a minority government.

    In addition, he said, the politicians ruling northern Norway, a Labour stronghold, are in favor of oil drilling.

    “It will be very difficult for Labour to deny the people in the North to have the same possibilities as the people in the West (where the oil industry in based) because they have many representatives in that region,” he said. (Editing by Michael Roddy)
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63C2S820100413

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