January 4 News: Members Of Congress Call For Investigation Of Shell’s Arctic Drilling Operations

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"January 4 News: Members Of Congress Call For Investigation Of Shell’s Arctic Drilling Operations"

Calls for federal scrutiny of Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling operations in Arctic waters swelled Thursday with a request for a formal investigation by members of Congress. [Huffington Post]

The grounding of the Kulluk drilling rig caps a series of episodes that have dogged Shell’s effort to tap Arctic oil. Environmental groups this week said they would ask President Barack Obama to suspend all current and pending Arctic drilling permits until operators prove they can work safely in the region’s harsh conditions. [Bloomberg]

Offshore oil and gas drilling company Transocean has agreed to a $1.4-billion settlement with the Justice Department to resolve civil and criminal claims against the company for its role in the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. [Los Angeles Times]

Even with the tax wind credit renewal, the wind industry is still likely to slump in 2013. And that’s partly because congressional support for wind is extremely erratic — never steady, and always on the verge of expiration. [Washington Post]

Analysis by the Met Office also suggests that the UK may be getting increasingly wetter as climate change causes warmer air to carry more water. Days of extreme rainfall – downpours expected once every 100 days – occurred every 70 days in 2012. [Guardian]

Hopes of avoiding millions in state taxes may have faded for Royal Dutch Shell when the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1 and 2012 became 2013. Just hours earlier, its Arctic drill rig, the Kulluk, had grounded on an island in the Gulf of Alaska, exposing Shell to a unique Alaska property tax on equipment dedicated to oil and gas development and exploration. [Alaska Dispatch]

Pipeline spills caused by flooding and riverbed erosion dumped 2.4 million gallons of crude oil and other hazardous liquids into U.S. waterways over the past two decades, according to a new report from federal regulators. [Associated Press]

According to ClimateWire, Facebook and 256 other Silicon Valley tech companies sit in a dangerous flood zone. As climate change becomes more of a reality and sea levels rise, they could all be in serious trouble. [Business Insider]

Natural disasters cost insurers $65 billion last year, with the United States accounting for nine-tenths of the bill and superstorm Sandy prompting payouts of $25 billion, a leading insurance company said yesterday. [Associated Press]

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10 Responses to January 4 News: Members Of Congress Call For Investigation Of Shell’s Arctic Drilling Operations

  1. John McCormick says:

    Environmental groups will ask President Obama to “suspend all current and pending Arctic drilling permits until operators prove they can work safely in the region’s harsh conditions.”

    Shell, et al., will be drilling in the Artic for many years if they get the permit. Russian, Canadian and other countries can issue permits. There will not be a time when a stationary rig, pipeline or fuel supply ship will not be exposed to the harshest weather, waves, ice migration and careless human error.

    The world community either bans Arctic oil and gas development or gives up the Arctic ecosystem. I think the latter is where we are going.

  2. Leif says:

    “Hopes of avoiding millions in state taxes may have faded for Royal Dutch Shell when the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1 and 2012 became 2013.” I was wondering why Shell set out in the teeth of a obviously large Gulf of Alaska pending storm. There is the answer in a nut shell. (pun intended.) Money always trumps risk in the Fossil industry. Tell me another reason to deny science, rational thinking, and prudence in the Fossil Baron’s response to climatic disruption?

    • prokaryotes says:

      This might become even costlier if the rig starts to leak …

      ..with all that money wasted, you could have build some nice big solar or wind park and generate energy for decades. These people are really not the smartest.

  3. Colorado Bob says:

    The grounding of the Kulluk -
    I was reading about her on Monday, she has a soup bowl hull, and made of very think steel . She was designed so she could “pop-up” as ice pressed against her hull.

    She was not designed to be beached and pounded by the Gulf of Alaska in January, on a South facing beach into the Pacific Ocean.