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Coast Guard Report on Shell Debacle Underscores Danger of Arctic Drilling

WASHINGTON (April 4, 2014) -- The U.S. Coast Guard’s long-awaited report on the 2012 grounding of Shell Oil’s Kulluk drill rig near Kodiak Island, Alaska underscores the serious threats posed by drilling in the Arctic Ocean, the Natural Resources Defense Council said. The 152-page report said Shell’s reckless and failed attempt to tow its Arctic Ocean drill rig was riddled with deficient planning and poor decision-making and potentially violated the law.

The following is a statement by Chuck Clusen, director of National Parks and Alaska Projects at NRDC:

“The incident makes vividly clear the near-impossible task of coping with an oil spill in the Arctic’s harsh weather conditions -- and the likelihood of serious threats to human life and the environment. Nobody has any business trying to drill in the Arctic Ocean -- period. America doesn’t need to endanger one of our remaining wild, untamed places. And we cannot afford to worsen climate change by going to extremes in search of dirty fuels—especially when we already have safer, cleaner ways to power our economy. This report reminds us to appreciate that some places are too special to drill.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 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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