After spending nearly $4 billion exploring, Shell Oil has been told it cannot start drilling for an estimated 27 billion gallons in the country’s most remote place — because a boat it uses might pollute the air. The Environmental Protection Agency’s appeals board denied permission for the Anglo-Dutch company to drill in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska’s northern coast, Fox News
|The EPA contends that Shell's icebreaker might pollute the air. (Getty Images Photo)
Shell did not take emissions from an icebreaking vessel into consideration when calculating so-called greenhouse gases from the project, the board said.
The closest human habitation to the proposed drilling site is the native Alaskan village of Kaktovik, with a population of 245, 70 miles away.
The oil company slammed the decision and renewed calls to stop EPA interference in drilling decisions.
“We think the issues were really not major and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in,” said Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby.
Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was blunt: “EPA has demonstrated that they’re not competent to handle the process. So if they’re not competent to handle it, they need to get out of the way.”
Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan said the decision is “driving investment and production overseas. That doesn’t help the United States in any way, shape or form.”
Fox News reported the appeals board has four members, all Democrats, including Kathie Stein, whom it described as “an activist attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund.”
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