"Arctic Waters Open for 'Cautious' Leasing After 2012"

"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's announcement about a 'cautious' approach to offshore oil development opens the door to leasing new waters in the Arctic after 2012 and clears the way for full review of a proposed new exploratory well in the Beaufort Sea as early as next summer.

The proposal has been greeted with cheers by many in Alaska who've been waiting to move into the new offshore frontier of the Far North, but conservationists warned that more studies should have been done before including the Arctic in the administration's 2012-17 Outer Continental Shelf leasing plan.

'It is disturbing that Interior proposes to evaluate including the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in the 2012-2017 five-year plan, despite a severe lack of information and an inability to clean up oil spills in Arctic conditions,' a coalition of the nation’s biggest environmental organizations said in a statement."

Kim Murphy reports for the Los Angeles Times' Greenspace blog December 1, 2010.


"Obama Administration OKs Review of Shell Oil's Arctic Sea Project" (McClatchy)

Pew Report Finds Oversight Lacking for Oil Drilling in U.S. Arctic Ocean (Pew)

"An Arctic Oil Spill Could Linger for Years" (Los Angeles Times)

Source: LA Times, 12/02/2010