Environment | Opinion

Editorial: Safeguards needed before drilling off the Alaska shore

"The Obama administration’s decision on Thursday to give “conditional approval” to Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to begin drilling four shallow-water wells in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska alarmed many environmentalists. Cleaning up an oil spill in the frigid, turbulent waters of the Arctic Ocean is likely to be far more complicated than it was in the comparatively benign waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

We have misgivings about this plan for just that reason. But President Obama, who indicated last year that he would honor Shell’s leases if it passed various environmental reviews, seems determined to proceed. The administration should require that Shell meet basic safeguards before it receives final permits to begin punching holes in the ocean floor."

Get the Story:
Editorial: A Necessary Condition for Arctic Drilling (The New York Times 8/9)

Also Today:
Interior secretary tells Alaskans Obama backs drilling (The Anchorage Daily News 8/9)
Sen. Murkowski leads delegation on Alaska tour (The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 8/9)

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