Shell Oil now says its Arctic drillship can't meet air-quality pollution limits set out by the Environmental Protection Agency. So what's the oil giant's solution? Ask the EPA to weaken the air-pollution rules that protect public health and the environment so it can rush forward with Arctic drilling plans.
And Shell is now saying it will merely "encounter" 95 percent of spilled oil, not clean it up like it had promised. Meanwhile its spill-response vessel can't even meet the required Arctic weather-preparedness standards -- it's still in port awaiting clearance to head north.
The Arctic Ocean is teeming with irreplaceable life and it's extraordinarily fragile; the sea ice that sustains life there is already melting rapidly. The last thing struggling Arctic species need is an invasion from an armada of polluting drillships.
Tell President Obama to reject Shell's excuses and help us show the administration that it can't write off the health of Alaskan wildlife and people without a fight.
SUBJECT: Reject Shell Oil's Air Permit Waiver
Dear President Obama,
Please do not let Shell drill in the Arctic this summer. Over the past month, the oil giant has backtracked on promise after promise. Most recently, it has admitted it cannot comply with the air-quality standards in its Clean Air Act permit from the EPA. Shell may not worry about emitting three times more nitrogen oxide pollution and 10 times more particulate matter pollution than it's allowed to, but those of us who live in or care about the Arctic are very worried indeed.
And the air permit is not the first broken promise: Although Shell's oil-spill response plan relies on the company's stated ability to clean up 95 percent of spilled oil at the source, Shell has recently stated it will merely "encounter" 95 percent of spilled oil, not clean it up. And earlier this month it admitted that its spill-response vessel Arctic Challenger can't meet required Arctic weather-preparedness standards.
Now we've heard that Shell's "state-of-the-art" drillship Noble Discoverer can't even stay anchored in port. Enough is enough: This company cannot be trusted with America's Arctic heritage. We can't afford another government oversight like Deepwater Horizon -- the American people deserve better than empty promises and substandard technology. Please don't risk destroying the fragile Arctic Ocean: Deny Shell's permits to drill in the Arctic this summer.
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