Shell's woes spark more green concerns

Jan. 14, 2013 at 8:37 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- The environmental violations of Shell in the arctic waters off the coast of Alaska mean it's time to-reassess extreme oil and gas work, an advocacy group said.

The Environmental Protection Agency last week issued air quality violations to Shell for drill ship Noble Discoverer and drill rig Kulluk, tasked with probing the arctic waters of northern Alaska.

The Natural Resources Defense Council said emissions related to the company's work were part of a larger pattern of faults in the company's Alaska campaign.

"The clean air violations like the large pattern of risk and failure is why NRDC and our partners are calling on President (Barack) Obama to direct his Interior Department to immediately suspend, re-evaluate and then end all oil and gas operations in the (region)," writes Chuck Clusen, NRDC director of Alaska projects.

Shell's work in the region was approved last year by the federal government. It's ambitions in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas were curtailed by weather and equipment issues.

Kulluk struck ground off the western coast of Alaska while under tow to Seattle during rough seas New Year's Eve. The company has since towed the rig to safe harbor for inspection.

In its latest operational update, the company said the vessel was in a stable state and data taken from an underwater assessment was under review.

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