As news about the Deepwater Horizon spill resonates over and over like a broken record, and with the oil industry facing one of its worst publicity crises in recent memory, you've got to hand it to Shell for having the gall to come out and say that it's pushing through with plans to expand drilling in the Arctic. Here's the scoop from Grist:
Right now, Shell Oil is moving forward with plans for exploratory drilling, the very same type that Deepwater Horizon was doing in the Gulf, in the Arctic's Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. As they await the final permits from MMS, Shell has submitted their final assurances on the soundness of their plans—a letter sent on Friday contains such common sense-defying assertions as "in Arctic conditions, ice can aid oil spill response."
So this means more drilling, with no improved contingency plan. Brilliant. The announcement seems to herald the harrowing possibility that nothing proactive will be done in reaction to the spill. With billions of dollars and influential political figures (not to mention overwhelming consumer support) backing these oil giants, the industry is unlikely to decline in the near future. Is this going to change? That's anyone's guess at this point. But if Shell's plans are any indication of what's to come, then the recent oil rig explosion has mostly fallen on deafened ears.