Reprinted from http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15918
Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea have been
handed a major setback by a U.S appeals court which ruled that the
Department of the Interior had underestimated the potential environment
impact. The courts ordered the federal government to do a new
Judge William Fletcher of the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco ruled that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) estimate that Shell would only extract one billion barrels was far too low. In the court opinion that Fletcher authored, he said that the numbers were "arbitrary and capricious" and ordered the agency to re-do the environmental analysis based "on the full range of likely production if oil production were to occur."
"It makes no sense to open up the fragile, irreplaceable and already melting Arctic Ocean to risky drilling for dirty oil that will only exacerbate climate change already wreaking havoc on the Arctic and elsewhere," said Erik Grafe, an attorney at Earthjustice, an environmental group that led the lawsuit.
Other plaintiffs included the Native Village of Point Hope, Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Oceana, Pacific Environment, Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL), Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and World Wildlife Fund.