No Drilling at Arctic National Wildlife Refuge This Summer

by Antonio Pasolini on February 25, 2011

Via Flickr/EnvironmentalDefenseFund

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDF) earlier this week announced that Royal Dutch Shell is postponing its plan to drill off the coast of the National Wildlife Refuge this summer. It said it fought a hard legal battle to stop the oil company’s race to drill.

The organization said the announcement represents a victory for Alaska’s polar bears and other Arctic wildlife, who are vulnerable to devastating losses if a blowout were to occur in the Beaufort Sea.

NRDC joined forces with Earthjustice to challenge clean air permits that the Obama Administration issued to Shell last year. Those permits would have allowed Shell’s fleet of ships to emit tons of pollutants into the Arctic environment, harming both Native communities and wildlife, it said.

The legal action resulted in a federal appeals board ordering the Administration to withdraw the clean air permits and start the process all over again.

“Mother polar bears will come ashore in the Arctic Refuge this fall to give birth just as they’ve done for thousands of years – undisturbed by drilling rigs, toxic pollution and a flood of deadly oil”, NRDC said in a press statement.

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