9th Circuit blocks drilling in Inupiat hunting grounds
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked Shell Oil from drilling in the Beaufort Sea because the Minerals Management Service failed to analyze the impact on Inupiat whaling grounds.

The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands and environmental groups sued MMS for approving exploratory drilling in the sea. The court said the agency needs to take a "hard look" at claims that drilling will harm the hunting grounds.

"There remain substantial questions as to whether Shell's plan may cause significant harm to the people and wildlife of the Beaufort Sea region," the decision stated.

Get the Story:
Local Government, Tribe Win Drilling Lawsuit (Cities Go Green 12/1)

9th Circuit Decision:
Alaska Wilderness League v. Kempthorne (November 20, 2008)