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Woo-Hoo! Shell Ditches Its Arctic Drilling Plans

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To the cheers of environmental groups, fossil fuel giant Shell announced Thursday that it is shelving its plans to drill in the Alaskan Arctic in 2014.

The company cited a court decision from last week that found that the U.S. Department of the Interior did not accurately assess the potential environmental impacts from a spill in the region.

A statement issued by Shell says that "The landscape the company had expected has changed," and that the court decision that ruled in favor of the environmental coalition "raises substantial obstacles to Shell's plans for drilling in offshore Alaska. As a result, Shell has decided to stop its exploration program for Alaska in 2014."

"This is a disappointing outcome, but the lack of a clear path forward means that I am not prepared to commit further resources for drilling in Alaska in 2014," said CEO Ben van Beurden, who took the helm of Shell at the start of the year. "We will look to relevant agencies and the Court to resolve their open legal issues as quickly as possible."

According to reporting by the Associated Press, van Beurden indicated to reporters in London that the project could be totally finished depending on the outcome of the ongoing lawsuit.

Photographer, writer and voice of Arctic conservation Subhankar Banerjee told Common Dreams via email that the good news comes following years of committed efforts by native and environmental groups.    


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