Alaska and Hawaii

"Shell’s Arctic Drilling Plan Clears Hurdle"

"Royal Dutch Shell has been on a six-year crusade to drill in Arctic waters off Alaska’s coast, and has spent about $4 billion on the effort so far without drilling a single well. But the company took one more bureaucratic baby step forward this week toward drilling in the Chukchi Sea later this year. An appeals board of the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday rejected four challenges brought by Alaska Native entities and environmental groups like Earthjustice to block Clean Air Act permits covering airborne emissions from industrial operations."

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Source: Green/NYT, 01/16/2012

"With Federal Green Light, Shell Hits the Gas on Arctic Plans"

"In a sign that the Obama administration is willing to clear the regulatory decks for oil drilling in Alaska's remote Arctic waters, the Interior Department on Friday gave a conditional green light allowing Royal Dutch Shell PLC to explore for oil this summer in Alaska's Chukchi Sea."

Source: Greenwire, 12/20/2011

Feds Announce Offshore Oil and Gas Target Areas

Offshore oil and gas drilling from 2012-2017 would be focused in the western and central Gulf of Mexico and off the shores of northern and southern Alaska, if the Dept. of Interior's proposed plan and draft programmatic environmental impact statement, released Nov. 8, 2011, are accepted as is. A 60-day public comment period ends Jan. 9, 2012.

"Stink Ants Invade Maui, Establish Megacolonies"

"WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana -- An ant species common to the mainland United States that is known for its tropical smell has invaded Hawaii for the first time. A population of odorous house ants, Tapinoma sessile, has been found at an upland site on the island of Maui. Also called stink ant, and coconut ant, these ants got their names because they invade houses and smell like coconut when smashed."

Source: ENS, 11/04/2011

Loss of Coast Zone Program Hurts Alaska's Beluga Whale Case

"Back in February, the Parnell administration told a judge that Cook Inlet beluga whales didn't need the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act because the state was perfectly capable of protecting them itself, in part because of the Alaska Coastal Management Program. But in a notice belatedly filed in the case Friday, the Alaska attorney general's office acknowledged the state had lost that conservation and enforcement tool four months ago."

Source: Anchorage Daily News, 11/01/2011

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