"U.S. Coast Guard Sees Added Burden in Shell's Arctic Quest"

"The U.S. Coast Guard has been forced to divert resources - including a vessel that fights cocaine trafficking - to the Arctic this summer to ensure that Royal Dutch Shell's exploratory oil drilling meets its environmental and safety commitments, its top officer said.

    The added Coast Guard presence in the Chukchi Sea off Northern Alaska includes the Waesche, a 418 foot-long (127 m) national security ship, which otherwise would be operating in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, fighting drug traffickers.

'That for me is the opportunity cost,' Admiral Paul Zukunft, commandant of the Coast Guard, told Reuters in his office at the agency's Washington, D.C. headquarters late last week. 'It means you do less somewhere else in order to supplement activity in the Arctic.'"

Timothy Gardner reports for Reuters August 11, 2015.

Source: Reuters, 08/12/2015