"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."
Opponents argued that nitrogen dioxide emissions from drilling would pollute the air of Native communities, but the appeals board concluded that the evidence presented was not robust enough to support the claim."
Clifford Krauss reports for the New York Times' Green blog January 13, 2012.