"Judge Suspends Arctic Drilling, Orders New Environmental Report"

"In the ongoing battle over offshore drilling, a federal judge in Alaska told regulators Thursday to redo an environmental impact study that underestimated the amount of recoverable oil and, potentially, the risks to delicate Arctic habitat.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline stopped short of scrapping the $2.6 billion in leases, however. His ruling followed an appeals court decision in January that federal officials had arbitrarily decided drilling companies could extract 1 billion barrels of oil from the shallow waters off the northwest coast of Alaska. That figure led to a misguided environmental study, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said.

Now, the U.S. Department of the Interior must redo the supplemental analysis using what's expected to be a much higher estimate for the amount of oil extractable. In the meantime, no drilling for oil or natural gas can take place."

Paresh Dave reports for the Los Angeles Times April 24, 2014.

Friday, April 25, 2014