After experiencing one ridiculous mishap after another, Shell is leaving the Arctic with its tail between its legs.
Yesterday, Shell announced that it would give up on plans to drill for oil in the Alaskan Arctic in 2013.
Hopefully, they won’t be back at all.
The Department of Interior says it has made it a top priority to reevaluate its decision to allow drilling in the Arctic.
Although it’s been abundantly clear to the environmental community that Shell was unprepared to drill there (a terribly incompetent clean-up plan, for example), it took their ships going on fire and running aground – problems that should never have happened – to pull out.
Shell says the repairs needed on the drill ships that ran aground probably can’t be completed in time to drill this year.
“Our decision to pause in 2013 will give us time to ensure the readiness of all our equipment and people following the drilling season in 2012,” says Marvin Odum, President of Shell Oil.
“If one of the largest and wealthiest companies in the world cannot drill safely in the Arctic, no one can. The Obama Administration should declare the Arctic off-limits to dangerous drilling, cancel Shell’s permits, and terminate future lease sales immediately, before we’re faced with an even greater disaster,” says Michael Brune, executive director of Sierra Club.
Read about all the problems Shell’s had in the short time it tried to drill in the Artic: