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Press contact: Elizabeth Heyd, NRDC 202-289-2424; eheyd@nrdc.org or Bob Keefe, NRDC 202-289-2373; bkeefe@nrdc.org
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Shell Debacle Shows Oil Industry Unprepared to Drill in America’s Arctic
NRDC: “If You Can’t Even Test Your Safety Systems in Calm Waters … You’ve Got No Business Drilling for Oil in the Arctic.”

WASHINGTON (September 17, 2012) – A series of problems, mistakes and mishaps has forced Shell to abandon its plans to drill in America’s Arctic this year.

Following is a statement from Niel Lawrence, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“If you can’t even test your safety systems in calm waters without damaging them, you’ve got no business drilling for oil in the Arctic.

“Shell is proving it is the gang that can’t drill straight.  Its spill response barge had hundreds of problems; its drill ship broke anchor and nearly drifted aground while still in harbor; and a day after Shell said it was safe to drill, it had to pull out and run from a 30-mile-wide iceberg.

“Instead of continuing to lobby for more time and weaker safeguards, Shell ought to wake up and admit what should have been obvious even before this ongoing debacle:

“It’s not safe to drill for oil in the Arctic - not now, not next month, not next year.”

To read NRDC’s new report detailing the myriad risks to drilling in the Arctic, please see here: http://www.nrdc.org/land/alaska/drilling-off-north-slope.asp

To read NRDC Alaska projects director Chuck Clusen’s blogs following Shell’s debacle in the Arctic, see here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/cclusen/


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.


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