On last night’s show, Rachel Maddow discussed drilling in the Arctic. Despite a large drilling rig that broke off on News Year’s Day 2013 and crashed into the Alaskan Sitkalidak Island, Washington gave the go-ahead to continue drilling in the Arctic. Now, a new report is shedding light on just how prepared we are for an oil spill in the Arctic, and the results are terrifying.
The drilling rig that broke off belong to Royal Dutch Shell. In March of 2012, Shell Executive VP for Exploration David Lawrence stated that drilling in the Arctic “is relatively easy.” Within a year of that statement, Shell had to deal with not only the runaway rig, but also a drilling ship that slipped off of its moorings and nearly crashed into one of Alaska’s Aleutian islands. Shell also had a brand new piece of equipment designed to respond to an Arctic oil spill, however, they screwed up during it’s testing, and it ended up “crushed like a beer can.” Shell also had an oil rig detained in port by the Coast Guard and eventually ended up with the Justice Department for potential criminal violations. And, to top it off, both drilling rigs sent to the Arctic for drilling ended up in a Federal criminal investigation.
After all the issues that Shell encountered, they announced they would be “pulling out of the Arctic”—for now. Shell was the first company given permission to drill in the Arctic, and it turned into one disaster after another.
Now, a report released this week by the U.S. Government and top experts in the oil industry is shedding light on how just unprepared we are to respond to an oil disaster in the Arctic. The conclusion stated that, even though we have decided politically to move forward with drilling the Arctic, “It is unlikely that responders could quickly react to an oil spill.”
“The report finds that current personnel, equipment, transportation, communication, navigation, and safety resources for overseeing a spill response in the Arctic are not adequate.”
So, what are they planning to do about this? After all, giving up drilling in the Arctic is simply not an option.
Watch the video below to find out.