But the clock is ticking. Final approvals must come by the 15th of August.
That means either the EPA will be pressured to cave before then and let Shell write its own rules, or — if we can create enough pressure for EPA to draw a line — we could stop Shell from drilling in the Arctic this summer.
Given the recent history of deepwater offshore drilling, and Shell’s track record so far — which includes losing control of one of its drilling rigs2 — the stakes for the pristine Arctic Ocean are all too real.
In a twist of irony, even as most of the country suffers from the hottest summer on record, Arctic sea ice has been slow to melt this year.3 The condition of the sea ice, combined with Shell’s repeated backtracking on its commitments, including on its oil spill response plan and with EPA and the Coast Guard, have prevented Shell’s final approval from moving forward.
If the Obama Administration approves drilling this summer, Shell will be especially rushed to drill before the sea ice forms again in October. But if the EPA draws the line now, we can protect the Arctic for at least one more year.
Thank you for defending the Arctic.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets