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Greenpeace vows to go on after Cairn case

  |   June 10, 2011 at 6:02 AM
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, June 10 (UPI) -- Pressuring oil companies to abandon work in the arctic will be a defining environmental battle, Greenpeace said after losing a case in Dutch court.

A Dutch court ruled in favor of Cairn Energy against Greenpeace activists protesting its work in the arctic waters off the coast of Greenland.

A Dutch court ruled that Greenpeace is barred from coming within 1,600 feet of Cairn's rigs for six months, enough time for the company to carry out its drilling program during the summer, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Greenpeace would have to pay $73,000 per day if it violates the order. The court set a penalty limit at $1.4 million though Cairn had requested $2.8 million for each day its drilling was disrupted.

Greenpeace said last week that it caused Cairn to suspend drilling operation for four days while activists suspended themselves in a survival pod about 80 feet above the sea for nearly 100 hours.

Greenpeace said the Dutch ruling wouldn't interrupt its campaign to stop drilling in the arctic.

"This will be one of the defining environmental battles of our age and it's one we're going to win," Greenpeace said. It also wants to see Cairn's oil spill release plan, which the company hasn't made public.

Activists claim the rush to explore potential new oil and gas reserves in areas exposed by melting arctic sea ice could create safety and environmental problems. Greenpeace said that one exploratory drilling campaign in Greenland's waters discharges more harmful pollutants than all drilling in Norway and Denmark combined.

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